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Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Announces $950,000 in Grants to Protect Houses of Worship

Commonwealth Nonprofit Security Grant Program funds security measures for faith-based organizations
For immediate release:
5/12/2021
  • Executive Office of Public Safety and Security
  • Office of Grants and Research

Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Announces $950,000 in Grants to Protect Houses of Worship

Jake Wark

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BostonToday, the Baker-Polito Administration announced $950,000 in grant awards to 53 faith-based organizations and houses of worship to strengthen on-premises safety and security. The 53 grants will help to fund safety enhancements to protect attendees at sites facing potential increased risk of violence.

 

“Our administration remains committed to ensuring that all of the Commonwealth’s residents can worship freely and safely,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These grants help equip houses of worship with additional tools to keep the faith communities they serve safe.”

 

In 2018, Massachusetts established the Commonwealth Nonprofit Security Grant Program (CNSGP) to allocate state funding to nonprofit organizations selected through a competitive grants process managed by the Office of Grants and Research (OGR) within the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS). The program annually supports target hardening and other physical security enhancements for locations at high risk for terrorist attacks or hate crimes. To date, the program has provided about $3 million in funding to 124 organizations. 

 

“Security, preparedness, and emergency management depend on all of us working together to protect public spaces,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “The Commonwealth Nonprofit Security Grant Program delivers critical safety resources to nonprofit and faith-based organizations to support that ongoing effort.”

 

“Public safety professionals at the municipal, state, and federal levels are deeply committed to working together for the safety of places of worship,” said Secretary Thomas Turco of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS). “This program is one of many OGR initiatives that engages community leaders and empowers organizations across our 351 cities and towns to keep people safe while carry out their unique, community-based missions of service.”

 

In a virtual award ceremony, Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito, and Secretary Turco were joined by Senator Walter Timilty, Representative James O’Day, Representative Andy Vargas, and faith leaders from their districts to announce the awards.

 

“I am very pleased that the state legislature put aside these funds into the CNSGP,” said Senator Timilty.  “This security grant program is a great example of how the Commonwealth works together with local agencies for the betterment of our citizenry.  Religious liberty is a fundamental human right. It truly saddens me to hear stories that places of worship are the target of hate crimes.  Citizens should be able to worship without fear of harm or death. The Jewish faith communities of Braintree, Canton, Sharon, and South Easton, which I am proud to represent, along with my legislative colleagues, should now experience some peace of mind as a result of these funds.”

 

“I am thrilled that the Baker Administration selected the Worcester Islamic Center (WIC) to receive a Commonwealth Nonprofit Security Grant award,” said Representative O’Day. “WIC provides a safe space to over 4,000 members to engage in prayer services, interfaith learning, and outreach activities. WIC’s positive impact on the greater Worcester Community is immeasurable, and this grant will help the Center safely continue its work and services.”

 

“All Saints Parish in Haverhill provides a strong community for so many looking to worship, but also serve our community,” said Representative Vargas. “Throughout this pandemic, parishioners have stepped up to support their neighbors, especially those facing food insecurity. This grant reassures our community that they can worship and serve our community safely.”

 

“Temple Beth David of the South Shore is thrilled and grateful to have been awarded this critical security grant,” said Marilyn E. Whipple, president of Temple Beth David in Canton. “We are a small synagogue, located Canton, directly adjacent to DCR property, accessible by the public. We have only part-time staff and really need a professional grade security camera system for 24/7 protection. This grant will enable us to install such a system, which we could not have afforded otherwise.”

 

“The Worcester Islamic Center is grateful to be a recipient of the 2021 Commonwealth Nonprofit Security Grant Program. As one of the largest Islamic centers and houses of worship in the New England region, we serve thousands of congregants in the vicinity of Massachusetts alone,” said Lutfi Karim of the Worcester Islamic Center. “We are grateful for the opportunity to better serve and secure our facility and community members, using these much-needed Grant award funds.”

 

“All Saints Parish is very excited to be receiving this security grant for houses of worship,” said Father Christopher Wallace of All Saints Parish. “Our beautiful and historic church is located in the Mount Washington neighborhood of Haverhill, where we have a very active faith community and lots of foot traffic between our churchgoers, our active Food Pantry, Pregnancy Care Center, and walkways that connect the neighborhood to our local city park of Swayze Field. This grant will help ensure that the grounds of All Saints will always be a safe place and spiritual home for everyone in our community."

 

Below is a complete list of this year’s 53 grant recipients:

 

Organization Name  City/Town  Award
Congregation Beth Elohim (CBE) Acton  Acton  $18,115.00
Acton Concord Chabad Center  Acton  $30,000.00
Christ Community Church  Belchertown  $23,412.00
Church of Saint Paul  Blackstone  $30,000.00
Saint Mary of the Hills  Boylston  $7,923.00
Temple B'Nai Shalom   Braintree  $6,231.00
Chabad Center of Brookline  Brookline  $21,000.00
United Church of Christ, Congregational  Burlington  $13,158.00
Temple Beth David of the South Shore  Canton  $23,224.50
Kerem Shalom, Inc.   Concord  $13,250.00
Dennis Union Church  Dennis  $11,382.00
The Federated Church of Orleans  East Orleans  $8,885.00
Jewish Family Service of Metrowest  Framingham  $22,400.00
Congregation Bais Chabad of Framingham  Framingham  $12,600.00
All Saints Parish, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Boston  Haverhill  $30,000.00
Congregation Sha'aray Shalom  Hingham  $11,400.00
Holbrook Jewish Community Center  Holbrook  $6,000.00
Cape Cod Synagogue  Hyannis  $11,032.20
Faith Assembly of God  Hyannis  $15,000.00
Cape Cod Shabad Lubavitch (Chabad of the Cape)  Hyannis  $22,626.96
Lubavitch Foundation of Lexington  Lexington  $24,600.00
JGS Lifecare  Longmeadow  $27,279.70
Yeshiva Achei Tmimin Lubavitz  Longmeadow  $30,000.00
CCF Ministries Lowell $27,337.93
First United Baptist Church of Lowell, MA  Lowell  $30,000.00
Jewish Community Center of the North Shore  Marblehead  $15,000.00
The Merrimack Valley Islamic Academy  Methuen  $17,690.00
2Life Communities  Newton  $20,651.30
Jewish Community Centers of Greater Boston  Newton  $14,250.00
Temple Emanuel  Newton  $30,000.00
Solomon Schechter Day School  Newton  $20,000.00
Temple Beth Avodah  Newton  $24,750.00
The Community of Jesus, Inc.   Orleans  $12,520.00
Congregation Adath Sharon  Sharon  $10,051.70
Temple Sinai of Sharon  Sharon  $17,516.00
Young Israel of Sharon | Striar Hebrew Academy  Sharon  $17,000.00
Liberty Church  Shrewsbury  $14,061.72
Temple Chayai Shalom  South Easton  $7,643.00
First Parish Church of Stow and Acton  Stow  $21,205.99
Congregation B'nai Torah Sudbury  Sudbury  $14,000.00
Chabad Lubavitch of the North Shore  Swampscott  $11,000.00
Church of the Good Shepherd  Wareham  $26,750.00
Temple Shir Tikva  Wayland  $17,905.00
URJ Crane Lake Camp  West Stockbridge  $2,465.00
Saint Patrick's Parish  Whitinsville  $20,760.00
Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha - Northeast, Inc  Windsor  $14,475.00
The First Baptist Church in Woburn  Woburn  $10,915.00
Congregation Beth Israel  Worcester  $12,031.00
Saint George Orthodox Cathedral  Worcester  $30,000.00
Congregation Shaarai Torah West  Worcester  $10,680.00
Worcester Islamic Center (WIC)  Worcester  $14,100.00
Alhuda Academy  Worcester  $21,722.00
Saint Peter's Catholic Church  Worcester  $24,000.00
TOTAL AMOUNT   $950,000.00
       
       
       
       
     

 

 

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Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Announces $950,000 in Grants to Protect Houses of Worship

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