Jewish institutions ask governor to ramp up security spending

Advocates say antisemitism has been rampant since the start of the war in Gaza on Oct. 7.

Emily Young

Mar 1, 2024, 1:44 AM

Updated 136 days ago


On the heels of last month's latest antisemitic incident at a shopping center in New Rochelle, Jewish institutions in New York are asking the governor to double her security funding and add an additional $75 million to the hate crimes grant.
Advocates say antisemitism has been rampant since the start of the war in Gaza on Oct. 7.
"All you have to do is open up social media, and turn on the news and we see it all day every day," said one parent of a child who attends Jewish Day School.
As a result, Jewish schools in the Hudson Valley, like Westchester Day School, have ramped up their security.
"It doesn't feel great sending your children off to school knowing that they are a target," added the parent.
"In the last number of years, our security spending has doubled from what it's ever been before. Unfortunately, it’s taking up a lot of bandwidth as well as our resources to address this issue, " explained Rabbi Daniel Rockoff, Head of School at Westchester Day School.
Those costs are often getting passed along to the parents, who are paying security fees on top of tuition. And it's not only at Westchester Day School.
"We surveyed dozens of schools across the region, school security spending is up 50%. This is unsustainable," said Davida Fried, from the Teach Coalition, the organization spearheading this initiative.
That’s why the Teacher's Coalition is asking Gov. Kathy Hochul to double the state's security spending in the 2024-2025 budget from $45 million to $95 million. And to increase the hate crimes grant from $20 million to $100 million.
"To make sure that our families know that when they come to school at our Jewish day school, they are 100% secure from any type of incident, intruder, or anyone trying to do us harm," said Rabbi Rockoff.
"It's a universal truth that a mother wants safety and security for their children and that's all we're looking for and we're asking for," added the parent.
The state Legislature must approve the budget by April 1.

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