Respect Equality

New York State will spend $45 million to make religious schools and institutions safer

getty New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

Story at a glance

  • The announcement of the grants comes amid a rise in anti-Semitic attacks in the state, including a machete attack during a Hanukkah celebration that left five injured.
  • Eligible organizations can apply for up to $50,000 in funding for security training, cameras and other security-related upgrades.
  • Thousands of rally-goers marched across the Brooklyn Bridge Sunday in a march organized by Jewish leaders.

The state of New York has earmarked $45 million in funding to bolster security at religious schools and institutions following a recent string of anti-Semitic attacks that have hit the greater New York area. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday at the “No Hate No Fear Solidarity March” in New York City that the state will make the funds available through a grant program for religious institutions, and will also increase the presence of the state police force and hate crimes task force in vulnerable communities. He also plans to propose a law that would label hate crimes as domestic terrorism. 

“The recent rash of anti-Semitic and other hate-fueled attacks in New York and across the nation are understandabl[y] causing anxiety, but we will not be intimated,” Cuomo said to thousands of rally-goers 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.”

Religious schools, community centers, day camps and museums are eligible to apply for up to $50,000 in funding for security training, cameras, improved lighting and other security-related upgrades. 

Cuomo also announced that New Yorkers can call a new tip line, 1-877-NO-HATE-NY, created to report bias or discrimination.

The rally Sunday was organized by Jewish leaders in the wake of a number of anti-Semitic attacks, including a stabbing at a Hanukkah celebration inside a rabbi’s home on Dec. 28 that left five people wounded. Thousands marched across the Brooklyn Bridge, and were joined by prominent lawmakers such as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.