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By Forum Staff
An additional $45 million in State funding is available to help protect New York’s religious-based institutions, including non-public schools and cultural centers, against hate crimes, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday at the “No Hate. No Fear.” Solidarity March over the Brooklyn Bridge.
The grants, which will be directed by the State Division of the Budget, provide up to $50,000 in funding for additional security training, cameras, door-hardening, improved lighting, state-of-the-art technology, and other related security upgrades at each eligible facility. Organizations that operate more than one facility have the opportunity to submit up to five applications.
According to the administration, funding is being made available through Requests for Applications under NY’s Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Grant program.
Created by Cuomo in 2017, the program provides funding to strengthen security measures and prevent hate crimes against nonprofit day care centers, community centers, cultural museums, day camps, and non-public schools, which may be vulnerable because of their ideology, beliefs or mission, the governor noted. Since the program’s inception, more than 500 such projects have been supported by $25 million in State funding.
Cuomo also announced Sunday the creation of a new tip line that New Yorkers should call if they experience bias or discrimination: (877) NO-HATE-NY.
Hate crime statistics indicate a surge of anti-Semitism and hate crimes against the Jewish community, nationally and in New York. Nearly half of all hate crimes in New York over the last several years have been against the Jewish community. The Oct. 27, 2018 mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and the recent terror attack at a kosher market in Jersey City, in which a local Yeshiva and Catholic school faced gunfire, underscore the need to protect Jewish institutions from violent extremism and anti-Semitism, Cuomo said.
“The recent rash of anti-Semitic and other hate-fueled attacks in New York and across the nation are understandably causing anxiety, but we will not be intimidated,” Cuomo said Sunday. “In New York we stand up to those who try to sow division and fear, and this new funding will provide religious and cultural institutions the support they need to help protect themselves and keep people safe. We will not let the cancer of hate and intolerance weaken us—we will continue to stand up and denounce it every time it rears its ugly head.”
Additionally, the Governor announced that State Police will continue increased patrols and security in Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods across NY.
On a related note, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) is drafting legislation that seeks to improve coordination between local and federal law enforcement in targeting and reporting hate crimes, to make sure that acts of anti-Semitism are being handled appropriately at the federal level.
“We need more than words and condemnations. We need action and resources, and we cannot rest until we use every tool at our disposal to eradicate all forms of intolerance and bigotry,” Meng said Sunday. “Enough is enough.”