Amid Rise in Antisemitism, NYS Releasing $45 Million in Security Funding for Private Schools

By Hamodia Staff

NEW YORK — The New York State Education Department will release $45 million for Non-Public School Safety Equipment (NPSE) for immediate distribution, six months earlier than originally planned, as Jewish institutions come under increased threat due to the Israel-Hamas war.

The $45 million of funds allocated for private school safety equipment was increased from $15 million in last year’s state budget to improve security measures at religious schools in recognition of the precipitous rise of antisemitic incidents. Funds from the 2023-24 budget were scheduled to be available beginning in April 2024, for schools to apply for as reimbursement. But this week, the Education Department announced that schools will now be able to apply for the funds immediately. 

The Anti-Defamation League says it recorded a total of 312 antisemitic incidents between October 7 and October 23, 190 of which it says “were directly linked to the war in Israel and Gaza.” In the same period last year, the ADL received preliminary reports of 64 incidents, four of which were Israel-related.

State Sen. Simcha Felder (Boro Park, Midwood, Kensington), Deputy Majority Leader Sen. Michael Giannaris and others are also seeking a doubling in the funding available this year, from $45 million to $90 million.

“No price is too high when we are talking about protecting children,” Felder said. “Safety and security is our top priority. Every yeshiva and Jewish school must have the funds necessary to ensure that to the best of their human ability every student, rebbe and teacher is safe at school and return home to their family at the end of the day.”

Gianaris said, “Amid rising hate and division fueled by world events, every New Yorker deserves the state’s commitment to their safety — especially children in our schools. We must combat the increasing dual threats of Antisemitism and Islamophobia spreading around the globe by ensuring the security needs of these schools within our borders are met.”

The announcement of immediate release of the $45 million was applauded by Jewish educational leaders.

Maury Litwack founder of Teach Coalition, called the announcement “an important step towards meeting the urgent needs of our Jewish Day School community, which is incurring substantial unanticipated costs simply to ensure that students, staff and families are safe.”

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