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State Launches Plan to Combat Antisemitism


Governor Kathy Hochul on Tuesday announced comprehensive state action taken to fight antisemitism. Governor Hochul made the announcement at the Center for Jewish History, making New York State the first state to respond to President Biden’s national strategy to counter antisemitism. The Governor also announced the creation of the New York State Anti-Hate in Education Center and Annual Convening that will combat hate, create a safe and inclusive environment, and focus on eliminating antisemitism. Further, the Division of Human Rights has announced plans to improve hate and bias incident data collection and launch the agency’s first-ever small grants program for community anti-bias work. The Office of Victim Services is working to expand support for victims of antisemitism by simplifying the Victim Compensation Application, allowing them access to reimbursement. Additionally, the New York State Police will re-launch law enforcement focused Hate Crime Investigative Seminars. The New York State Office of Mental Health created the Spotlight on Jewish Campaign to recognize the unique issues surrounding Jewish Americans’ mental health.

“As Governor of the State with the largest Jewish population outside the State of Israel, I feel a solemn responsibility to protect and uplift New York’s vibrant, diverse Jewish communities,” Governor Hochul said. “No one should have to fear for their safety while going to their place of work, going to school, or just walking the streets. It has always been my top priority to keep the people of New York safe, and we will continue taking action to fight antisemitism and use every tool at our disposal to eliminate hate and bias from our communities.

New York State Anti-Hate in Education Center & Annual Convening  

Governor Hochul recognizes the importance of harnessing New York State’s collective knowledge and expertise to combat hate in 2023. The Governor’s Office will establish the New York State Anti-Hate in Education Center, which will bring together stakeholders, as a working group, from a range of partner institutions and organizations, including The City University of New York, The State University of New York, the New York State Education Department, and The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) in order to combat hate, create a more safe, inclusive, and equitable climate for all New Yorkers. 

During the next year, the focus of the New York State Anti-Hate Center and its inaugural Annual Convening, scheduled for Summer 2024, will be antisemitism. The Center will wrestle with additional hate issues on a rotating basis. One of the first objectives of the center is to define hate and its impact on education. The goal is for the center to address the interconnectedness of hate and then take a deep dive into the specific manifestations of hate on a rotating basis and how it can be addressed through education. 

The New York State Anti-Hate in Education Center & Annual Convening will:

  • Serve as an intellectual hub that brings together experts in academia and government to analyze, research, and brainstorm solutions to complex hate and discrimination issues;
  • Build alliances across partner institutions and organizations, fostering collaborative efforts to identify opportunities for collective action;
  • Develop education and training for a range of stakeholders across New York State;
  • Make recommendations about effective and equitable policies to combat hate crimes and discrimination; 
  • Articulate strategies for evaluating the effectiveness of anti-hate initiatives.

New York State Division of Human Rights

The New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR) today announced plans to improve hate and bias incident data collection around the state. DHR’s Hate and Bias Prevention Unit will launch a dedicated reporting hotline and will work with their regional hate and bias prevention councils to promote this resource within communities statewide, with the goal of seeing improved data collection which can inform the agency’s continued hate and bias prevention work going forward. 

DHR also today announced plans for its Hate and Bias Prevention Unit to establish a first-of-its-kind small grant program aimed at supporting community-based organizations engaged in vital grassroots anti-hate and bias work. These grants will be available to fund a variety of community-based anti-hate and bias initiatives, including but not limited to public awareness and education campaigns, training programs, workshops, and community support interventions in the wake of hate or bias incidents. Additional information about this small grant program, including when applications will open and how organizations can apply, will be made available in the coming months. 

New York State Office of Victim Services

The Office of Victim Services also is working to streamline its application for victim compensation, which will help victims of antisemitic and other crimes, apply for financial assistance for crime-related expenses. OVS provides a critical financial safety net for individuals who have no other resources. New York State has enacted more than a dozen laws expanding eligibility for compensation of hate crimes and other crimes, including allowing reimbursement to certain crime victims even if they are not injured and increasing compensation for essential lost or damaged personal property from $500 to $2,500. Individuals seeking help with compensation applications, programs in their communities, or other services for victims and survivors may visit www.ovs.ny.gov/connect.   

New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services

The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services administers the Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Program to provide funding to strengthen security measures and prevent hate crimes against nonprofit community and civic centers, cultural museums, day care centers, and other nonprofit organizations that may be vulnerable because of their ideology, beliefs, or mission. This funding can be used to support exterior or interior security improvements, such as lighting, locks, alarms, panic buttons, fencing, barriers, access controls, shatter-resistant glass and blast-resistant film, public address systems, and measures to strengthen cybersecurity. Funds can also cover costs associated with security training. DCJS has awarded funding to 497 organizations statewide for 1,081 projects totaling $51,680,910, with $8,899,091 going toward 187 cybersecurity projects this summer. The FY 2024 Enacted Budget provides an additional $25 million for Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes grants. The next round of grant funding is expected to be made available through a request for applications in December 2023. 

New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services

The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services announced today nearly $38 million will be distributed to nonprofit organizations throughout the state facing an increased risk of terrorism and violent extremist attacks. Funding is made available through FEMA’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which helps strengthen the security and preparedness of religious nonprofits throughout the country. New York leads the nation in total funding and the number of awardees, most of which are Jewish organizations. 

New York State Police

New York State Police are working with the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services to launch a new series of Hate Crime Investigative Seminars. Previous seminars included presentations from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District, the FBI, and the Anti-Defamation League. 

New York State Office of Mental Health 

The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) created the Spotlight on Jewish Americans Campaign to recognize the unique issues surrounding Jewish Americans’ Mental Health and provide resources to develop a webinar to the existing equity series that will preface cultural and religious considerations, address antisemitism and its effects, and provide best-practice approaches in the provision of behavioral health services for this community.

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