LONGMEADOW — On May 18, state Sen. Eric Lesser joined state Rep. Brian Ashe, Susan Halpern of JGS Lifecare in Longmeadow, Stewart Bromberg of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts, Longmeadow Police Chief Robert Stocks, and members of the community to announce $27,280 in nonprofit security grant funding for JGS Lifecare. Lesser has been a champion of the program since its inception in 2018 and has worked to see its expansion from $75,000 in its first year of existence to $1.5 million in FY21.
This latest grant funding was one of 53 grants awarded across the Commonwealth to faith-based organizations and houses of worship for vital security enhancements and protocols at houses of worship, community centers, and other institutions at heightened risk of violence.
In recent years, communities throughout the country have seen a growth in hate incidents targeting LGBTQ+, black, Jewish, Asian, and Muslim groups and organizations. Locally, Lesser has advocated for funds to provide security enhancements to nonprofit organizations and has spoken out against threats placed upon the Springfield Jewish Community Center in March 2017, the recent ‘Zoom bombing’ during a meeting of the of Longmeadow Coalition for Racial Justice Task Force, and, most strikingly, the attempted arson at Ruth’s House, operated by JGS Lifecare, in April 2020.