New York governor announces $25 million in funding for hate crime prevention

Package comes as Jewish New Yorkers contend with regular antisemitic incidents, remain most targeted group in NYC

Luke Tress is a JTA reporter and a former editor and reporter in New York for The Times of Israel.

Illustrative: Police and community safety vehicles at a Jewish event in Brooklyn, New York City, May 19, 2022. (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)
Illustrative: Police and community safety vehicles at a Jewish event in Brooklyn, New York City, May 19, 2022. (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)

NEW YORK — New York State Governor Kathy Hochul on Wednesday announced $25 million in funding for organizations facing hate crimes, as Jews in New York City and the region contend with regular antisemitic incidents.

The funding will go to organizations serving communities at a high risk of hate crimes and vandalism, and will be used to fund security measures, training, public awareness campaigns and outreach measures.

The package will be available through the state budget for the 2024 financial year, and comes on top of $3.5 million in funding for the state’s newly-formed hate and bias prevention unit.

Hochul announced the funding at a New York City “unity summit” aimed at tackling hate crimes.

Speakers at the summit included former US Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Rabbi Moshe Hauer of the Orthodox Union, and an array of New York officials and faith leaders.

“There’s been an alarming spike in antisemitism, anti-Asian, anti-everything. The numbers are stunning. Attacks on our transgender neighbors, a troubling rise in white supremacists,” Hochul said.

“It’s the first time in our state’s history that we brought together elected leaders, survivors, community and faith leaders with one purpose, and that is to stand unified against hate,” Hochul said. “We outnumber the haters. There are so many more of us that we band together. There’s strength in the numbers and the certainty of the righteousness of our cause here.”

She highlighted the case of Ari Halberstam, a Jewish boy who was killed in a terror attack in New York City in 1994. His mother, Devorah Halberstam, has become a prominent activist against antisemitism.

“She’s been unrelenting in her pursuit to bring justice and to bring hope to communities that are feeling under siege,” Hochul said.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul speaks at the Lincoln Square Synagogue in New York City, December 12, 2022. (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)

The summit came shortly before the first anniversary of a white supremacist mass shooting that killed 10 Black people at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York.

Hate crimes have been on the rise in New York in recent years, part of a nationwide trend.

In New York City, Jews are consistently targeted far more than any other group. The New York Police Department reported 263 hate crimes targeting Jews in 2022, close to half the total for all groups and an average of one antisemitic incident in the city every 33 hours.

Police reported 16 antisemitic hate crimes in the city in April, and 77 since the start of the year.

Reported incidents ranged from violent assault to verbal harassment, property damage, and antisemitic graffiti.

Jewish security groups have said that many attacks likely go unreported.

In addition to the funding announced this week and the bias prevention unit, Hochul has passed legislation that requires education for hate crimes perpetrators, sets up a statewide campaign to promote tolerance, and changes bail laws to make all hate crimes by adults eligible for arrest.

Most Popular
read more: