The Jeffrey and Susan Brudnick Center for Living in Peabody.

Two North Shore temples, Brudnick Center receive security grants from state



Two North Shore temples, Brudnick Center receive security grants from state

The Jeffrey and Susan Brudnick Center for Living in Peabody.

Noting that their current location dates to 1962 and with antisemitism continuing to fester, leaders of Temple B’nai Abraham of Beverly felt that it was time for some security upgrades in recent years. The temple is getting some help through a recently awarded security grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

B’nai Abraham is one of 80 nonprofits statewide that have collectively received $3.8 million in such grants from the administration of Governor Maura Healey.

This is the second consecutive grant B’nai Abraham has received from the state. It listed security concerns within Beverly and the surrounding area as reasons for seeking funding.

The initial grant, awarded for 2023, totaled around $92,000. The more recent grant is for $67,768.

“We are so grateful for these grants,” said Ken Hartman, the immediate past president of B’nai Abraham. “Without them, it’s unlikely we would have been able to implement the security improvements that we did.”

The grants were announced on Feb. 6. Some of the recipients are houses of worship, from churches to synagogues to mosques. Others represent other religiously affiliated organizations, including schools and community centers.

“The Office of Grants and Research offers multiple grant programs that assist nonprofits – such as faith-based institutions, medical and health care facilities, and other human service entities – with enhancing safety and security for members, participants, and staff,” Renee Algarin, director of communications for the state Office of Grants and Research, said in an email. “The goal of each of these programs is to provide resources that will enhance the security of nonprofits that are at high risk of a hate crime or terror attack.”

B’nai Abraham is one of three Jewish North Shore grant recipients, along with Temple Ahavat Achim of Gloucester and the Jeffrey and Susan Brudnick Center for Living in Peabody.

“There have been antisemitic events, whether it’s been verbal attacks, graffiti, or physical attacks,” said B’nai Abraham first vice president Linda Goodspeed. “Unfortunately, every year, there are quite a few things to list on the grant that make us a good candidate to receive some grant money.

“Both of the grants were used to harden the building, the physical building,” Goodspeed said. “It’s the first line of defense.”

The Brudnick Center received a grant of $68,469.60, which will go toward security enhancements.

“As an organization we are very safety-minded, and it is vitally important that we take every precaution to protect our residents, staff, and visitors,” Barry Berman, CEO of Chelsea Jewish Lifecare – which runs the Brudnick Center – said in a statement. “We are extremely grateful for the state’s focus on our safety and security.”

Temple Ahavat Achim, meanwhile, received a matching grant of $12,500 for security personnel.

“It will help us insofar as it helps us reduce unexpected costs,” said Richard Quateman, the Gloucester temple’s president. “We’ve had to increase security over previous years.”

While the application process was held before the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attacks on Israel and the subsequent war in Gaza, several representatives of Jewish institutions referenced increased concerns due to the ongoing situation in the Middle East.

“Since the October attacks, we’ve dramatically upped our security awareness,” Quateman said.

“Antisemitic events have gone up tremendously since Oct. 7,” said B’nai Abraham’s Goodspeed.

Amid this current atmosphere, B’nai Abraham is applying for a third consecutive grant.

“Both on the grants we did previously, which were awarded before Oct. 7, and on the grant right now, which of course is after Oct. 7, I would say what we’re asking for … is just to make the temple more safe,” Goodspeed said. Θ

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