State Budget Allocates $100,000 for Secure Jewish Buffalo Fund

Cover Image
Photo credit Brendan Keany
BUFFALO (WBEN - Brendan Keany) - State Senator Tim Kennedy was joined by leaders of the Buffalo Jewish Federation on Wednesday morning to announce the allocation of $100,000 for the Secure Jewish Buffalo Fund.

State Senator Tim Kennedy says $100,000 has been allocated for the Secure Jewish Buffalo Fund for upgrades in security and crisis training. The FBI reports there were nearly 1,750 victims of religious bias hate crimes in 2017, and more than 58% were anti-Semitic. @NewsRadio930

— Brendan Keany (@BrendanKeany) April 17, 2019

The fund was created in the aftermath of the Tree of Life shooting last fall, which killed 11 members of Pittsburgh's Jewish community. The money will go toward upgrades in security and crisis training programs.

"Over the past few years, we've seen a steady and disturbing increase in the number of hate crimes occurring in this country and around the world, with those crimes turning deadlier and deadlier," said Kennedy. "That worldview goes against everything those of us who believe in a pluralistic democracy believe in. Our strength and vibrancy doesn't come from a homogenous culture, it comes from diversity - diversity of beliefs, diversity of backgrounds, diversity of ethnicities and diversity of thought."

Leslie Shuman Kramer serves as president of the Buffalo Jewish Federation, discussed how this money will be a "game changer" for the local Jewish community.

"Following the recent attack in Pittsburgh and the rise of anti-Semitism, both inside and outside our country, our Jewish community has prioritized increasing security to ensure the safety of our institutions and all who visit them," she said. "Today's announcement is a game changer for Jewish Buffalo. Together, with the over $100,000 raised within our community since December, this grant will allow us to obtain the professional guidance and security systems that we deem are necessary to ensure community-wide safety."

According to the FBI, there were nearly 1,750 victims of religious bias hate crimes that were reported in 2017, and nearly 60-percent of those crimes were anti-Semitic in nature.