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Federal funding issued to Jewish institutions in CT to tackle rise in hate crimes

Several faith-based institutions received federal funding to ensure security and safety.

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. — With the alarming increase in anti-Semitic incidents in Connecticut, local and state officials have teamed up to protect faith-based institutions throughout the state. 

Friday's news conference in West Hartford focused on prevention and security.

"Hate crimes are on the rise. Hate incidents are at an all-time record," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal. 

Sen. Richard Blumenthal pointed out there have been 64 anti-Semitic incidents in Connecticut which is double the amount compared to last year, a strong reminder work still needs to be done in the state when it comes to hate crimes. 

"A cancer that is spreading, a virus that will destroy our democracy if we fail to stand up and speak out," added Sen. Blumenthal. 

23 faith-based institutions in Connecticut applied for federal funding, funding that will provide the proper training and education for its members if an incident were to happen. 

$3.2 million will be granted to Connecticut as a whole and more specifically, the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford will receive approximately $133,000, money that will make churches and synagogues feel safer and more secure. 

"What do you do if you are in a situation in a house of worship or elsewhere and then an active threat or a shooter presents themselves? Congregants are not expected to come in as Rambo," said David Waren, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford. 

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However, it is not just anti-Semitic incidents experienced throughout the state. White Supremacy flyers have also been popping up in different neighborhoods, signs that encourage residents to report "anti-white" activity. 

"Here in Connecticut, although we are the 29th most populist state, we are 9th in the country for white supremacist propaganda incidents and 11th in the country for anti-Semitic incidents," said Stacey Sobel, regional director of Anti-Defamation League CT. 

In two months, it will mark the five-year anniversary of the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, something institutions want to stop seeing. 

Carmen Chau is an anchor and reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at cchau@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook and X.


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