"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.