Sen. Gillibrand hosts roundtable to discuss ways to prevent hate crimes

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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand hosted a roundtable Monday at Ramapo Town Hall alongside religious leaders and elected officials.

The meeting followed Saturday's attack on the Jewish community.

Gillibrand joined state and local officials, legislators, religious leaders and community members to discuss what can be done to prevent hate crimes from occurring.

Some called for stricter punishments for those who commit hate crimes, while others focused on educating children early on to recognize and condemn hate speech.

Sen. Gillibrand announced her support of increased funding to educate children about the Holocaust, but the largest discussion was the role of social media platforms.

The discussion comes after federal prosecutors filed hate crime charges against Grafton Thomas, the man accused of committing the Monsey attack. The complaint points to the suspect’s online history - and found he repeatedly searched for Jewish temples and why Hitler hated the Jews.

“We need to hold the social media platforms accountable we've seen it mass shooting after mass shooting it's going to have to be,” said Gillibrand.

Community members shared their concerns and fears about their safety where they worship, and where they send their children to school. With anti-Semitism on the rise, much of the focus of Monday’s town hall was focused on security. Community members and local leaders expressed a need for additional funding to ensure that schools, yeshivas and synagogues are protected. Sen. Gillibrand announced funding that is available to help keep people safe where they worship and learn.

"Ninety million in funding, 40 million specifically for places like Rockland County for our schools and synagogues,” said Gillibrand.

Gillibrand says she plans to work with local leaders to hold a training session in Rockland County where they can find out how to receive grant funding for programs that can help keep them safe.

 

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