June 20, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
June 20, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Securing Our Schools: NY Legislators Respond to Community Advocacy for Security Funding

(Courtesy of Teach NYS) “After the attack on Oct. 7, everything changed,” said David Knee, a security committee member and parent of a student at Westchester Day School (WDS) in New York.

Reflecting on how yeshivas and Jewish day schools in New York have since ramped up their security efforts, he said, “WDS has done an amazing job of reacting proactively to continually evolve its security measures,” adding that “any additional [security] funding we get from the government allows us to put more of our existing resources into our other programs that are so crucial to the success of our school.”

The issue of security in yeshivas and Jewish day schools is affecting Jewish communities like never before. Since Oct. 7, yeshivas and Jewish day schools in New York and other parts of the country have increased their spending on security by 47%, according to a recent study by the Office of Jewish Education Policy Research (OJEPR). Community advocates, alongside Teach NYS, are working tirelessly to resolve issues surrounding security, working with state and federal governments to expand security grant funding for Jewish day schools, synagogues and other vulnerable community institutions.

These efforts led to historic results when New York legislators responded to the Jewish community’s call for action with the passage of the FY25 budget in April, increasing the NPSE program from $45 million to $70 million. In addition, the Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes (SCAHC) grant saw a $10 million increase from $25 million to $35 million.

“[Our school is] very appreciative of the funding that we receive from the state and federal government,” said Knee. Along with WDS, yeshivas and Jewish day schools across New York take a proactive approach to security, constantly reevaluating current protective measures and investing in new improvements over time. The added FY25 funds will enable yeshivas and Jewish day schools to offset rising expenditures to make safety a number one priority for their students.

One way that Teach NYS has committed to improving security is through Project Protect, a $1 billion initiative to advocate for state and federal funding to support security needs for Jewish day schools, synagogues and other at-risk nonprofits in New York and nationwide. These funds will ensure that schools and other Jewish institutions have enough money to meet their security needs. This initiative has the potential to galvanize decision-makers in New York to action. When legislators see the Jewish community united in asking for help in fighting against antisemitism, they respond in kind.

Teach NYS is committed to safeguarding Jewish communities against potential threats. Going forward, Jewish communities must mobilize and continue advocating for even more security funding for yeshivas and Jewish day schools.

Learn more about Project Protect at www.projectprotect.info.

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles