Senate Republican Conference Unveils Antisemitism Report And Legislation

Senator Ortt -Presser on Antisemitism working group report
Letter to Governor Hochul and Legislative Majorities to prioritize policies geared to address antisemitism in communities

The New York State Senate Republican Conference Antisemitism Working Group today unveiled their Antisemitism report and sent a letter to Governor Hochul and Legislative Majorities that highlights legislative recommendations that should be a priority in order to  address the rise of antisemitism in communities.


Last year, the members of the New York State Senate Republican Antisemitism Working Group were tasked with developing recommendations to address the rise in antisemitic incidents in New York. Roundtable events were held in Rockland and Nassau Counties involving stakeholders in the community. 


“Antisemitism is not a new problem, but we have seen a drastic and alarming increase since the horrific terrorist attacks on Israel in October. This is one of the most pressing issues facing our state. New York is home to the largest Jewish population outside of Israel, and it is incumbent upon us to take action to ensure nobody is ever made to feel unsafe because of their religion. I want to thank the members of the working group, as well as the stakeholders throughout the state who offered their input, for their work on this issue. The report outlines a comprehensive approach to battle antisemitism at all levels, and I hope our colleagues in the Legislature and the Governor will join us,” stated Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt.  


“This report is just the beginning of our attempt to address this hate-crime in meaningful, and thoughtful ways. If this report has proven anything it is that New York must do more to combat antisemitism. We all have a role to play. We must address higher educational institutions weeding out hate speech, the media reporting these crimes and our elected officials, in all levels of government, should put partisanship aside and pass laws to end this crime. It is essential that we do our part. Our fight starts today,” stated Senator Jack Martins, Chair of the Antisemitism Working Group.


With the Senate and Assembly expected to vote on the New York State Budget, the working group is urging the adoption of five priority legislative initiatives in the enacted state budget:

  • S.3275 (Griffo): places a definition of antisemitism within the state human rights law; provides that antisemitism that incites, causes or results in any act of violence, or injury to a person, or the damage to or destruction of real or personal property, shall be deemed to constitute a hate crime;


  • S.7752 (Weber): prohibits students from receiving TAP if engaging in antisemitic behavior;


  • S.7773 (Canzoneri-Fitzpatrick): creates the “Dismantling Student Antisemitism (DSA) Act”. which implements antisemitism awareness and prevention sensitivity training in colleges with threat of loss of funding;


  • S.8625 (Martins): enacts the “New York State Antisemitism Vandalism Act” which establishes the crime of vandalism of pro-Israel print and provides a class A misdemeanor for any individual who intentionally destroys, damages, removes any banner, poster, flyer or billboard which is located in a public space, where the intent or purpose of such banner, poster, flyer or billboard is to bring awareness for Israeli individuals who have been victims of a crime, or to positively support the country or citizens of Israel; and


  • S.8774 (Oberacker): expands the prohibition of harassing conduct involving Nazi symbols.

“Antisemitic threats, attacks and vandalism have occurred in New York State and across the country. These reprehensible actions, which cause fear in the Jewish community, are unacceptable and must not be tolerated. The recommendations unveiled by the New York State Senate Republican Conference Antisemitism Working Group, developed with input from stakeholders and roundtable discussions, will address rising antisemitism, prevent antisemitic incidents from occurring in the future and enhance public safety in the state,” stated Senator Joseph Griffo, 53rd Senate District.


“Heinous, violent acts in the name of antisemitism have been on the rise in New York and we must take decisive action to halt these disturbing crimes.  I want to thank those from the Jewish community who were instrumental in helping develop this legislative package - working together, we have developed true solutions.  Now it is time for Albany to make these bills an immediate priority to ensure no one comes under attack because of their faith or religion,” stated Senator Peter Oberacker, 51st Senate District. 


“In the interest of working to protect my constituents and all Jewish people across New York State, I was proud to join with my colleagues in the Senate Republican Conference to form a working group to address the rise of anti-Semitism. I am disgusted by the recent increase of anti-Semitic hatred that we have seen in New York. I very proudly represent a district with a large population of Jewish constituents, and the idea that any citizen should feel threatened on the basis of their deeply held religious beliefs is sickening. Together with the other members of the working group, we have put forth necessary legislation that would ensure that our Jewish brothers and sisters no longer have to live in fear,” stated Senator Patricia Canzoneri-Fitzpatrick, 9th Senate District.


“It's no secret that antisemitism has ramped up in New York State and across this country. Antisemitism was running unchecked before the October 7th massacre and has only increased since then, both on social media and in the real world. I'm grateful to my colleagues and local stakeholders who contributed ideas towards abating this epidemic, resulting in today's report. Let's take this report and the legislation introduced because of it and continually work towards ending antisemitism,” stated Senator Bill Weber, 38th Senate District.


The New York State Senate Republican Conference is committed to restoring public safety and protecting our Jewish brothers and sisters from hateful acts of violence. None of us should be living in fear. No individual should feel threatened or unsafe. These proposals and dedicated funding are imperative steps we can take to ensure the safety of our communities.


The full letter of priorities and legislative proposals can be read here.


related legislation