Today New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced significant additional measures aimed at protecting religious buildings and houses of worship across the state. The announcement, made at the 'No Hate In Our State' – 2020 Security Grant Conference, included an additional $25 million in state grant funding. This funding is intended to help organizations and communities vulnerable to hate crimes to protect themselves. This is part of a broader effort to strike back against hate crimes, including proposed legislation to categorize hate crimes as domestic terrorism and punish it accordingly. Governor Cuomo has also called for increased funding to the New York Police Hate Crimes Task Force, as well as expanded education efforts designed to protect our children from the influence of hate.
Although anti-Semitic hate, in particular, played a central role in Governor Cuomo's remarks, these new measures are intended to be inclusive and interfaith, as well as, protect New Yorkers across racial, ethnic, and religious lines. For over one hundred years, the American Jewish Congress has operated under the belief that, in order for any minority group to be protected, all must be protected. We were proud to attend the conference, and we stand shoulder to shoulder with Gov. Cuomo on his crucial initiative and salute his effort to ensure that the kind of violence inflicted on Jews in such places as Poway, Pittsburgh, Jersey City, and Monsey does not happen again.
Jack Rosen, President
Munr Kazmir, Vice-President
Ben Chouake, Secretary