Governor Kathy Hochul meets with Teach NYS delegates in March 2024, including the youngest advocate, Gabe, a 4th grader

“After the attack on October 7th, everything changed,” says Racheli Kraut Hackel, executive director of Hebrew Academy of Nassau County (HANC).

Reflecting on how yeshivas and Jewish day schools in New York have since ramped up their security efforts, Hackel says HANC has taken a proactive approach to continually evolve its security measures. “We have really qualified guards, which goes a long way toward making everyone feel safe,” she explains. “That’s why increased funding for our school’s security is really important.” The funds are enabling her school to make improvements that will ensure the safety of students and staff for a more secure learning environment.

Security threats are no joke—HANC once dealt with a bomb threat at one of their three branches during a weekend event for a local synagogue. “Thankfully, it was determined to be a hoax,” Hackel remarks. “But the threat was taken very seriously, necessitating an evacuation and the involvement of the bomb squad.”

The issue of security in yeshivas and Jewish day schools is affecting our communities like never before. Since October 7th, 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 Teach Coalition’s 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 yeshivas and 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 security funding we receive from the state and federal government,” says Hackel. “It is crucial for our school, especially the NPSE grant which helps cover personnel costs.” Along with HANC, yeshivas and Jewish day schools across New York are taking 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 yeshivas and 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 our state 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 our 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


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