Governor Cuomo condemned threats made against Jewish community centers while speaking at the Sydney Albert Albany JCC Wednesday morning.
He highlighted the state's response at a center that's been the target of two recent bomb threats.
“This is repugnant to everything we believe as New Yorkers. It is an act of cowardice,” said Governor Cuomo, responding to, what he calls, a rash of “anti-Semitism.”
“We have Bomb threats, desecration of Jewish cemeteries, swastikas, racist slogans, that literally have appeared from one end of this state to the other.”
During his remarks, the Governor highlighted the state’s response to threats, calling attention to a new $25-million dollar grant program in his proposed budget to boost safety and security at schools and daycare centers at risk of hate crimes.
“When you talk of really ugly, reprehensible behavior, I don't think there's anything worse than racist activity, bigoted activity and targeting facilities that serve our children,” said Governor Cuomo.
There have been more than a dozen threats made against Jewish community centers in New York State.
The Albany JCC was the target of two bomb threats prompting evacuations in January.
The events were unsettling for parents such as Drew Katz.
“It is shocking. I have been coming here since age 5 and to hear something like this happen not once but twice,” said Katz.
His two daughters attend JCC programs.
“We are continuing to operate as we always have. There is nothing programmatically that is changing. We have made some behind the scenes changes to try and beef up security, be better prepared,” said Adam Chaskin, Director of the Sidney Albert Albany JCC.
The state is also offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the prosecution of those responsible for bomb threats.
Governor Cuomo says he is confident the perpetrators will be caught.
“We want the perpetrators to know that we are fully committed to doing justice in this case. This is intolerable for us,” said Cuomo.