The Simon Wiesenthal Center Government Advocacy Interns joined New York Governor Kathy Hochul for the official signing of a bill that will significantly increase reporting mandates of anti-Semitic incidents on New York’s college campuses. The bill, which was introduced by Senator Anna Kaplan and Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, will require colleges and universities to document and report incidents of anti-Semitism to the State Department of Education. The bill aims to address the rising incidents of anti-Semitism on college campuses and improve the safety of Jewish students.
The Center’s nine-week, immersive Government Advocacy Internship program was crucial in advocating for this bill. The program provides the next generation of Jewish leaders with the skills necessary to effect change. Over forty college students are learning about public policy, legislation, and advocacy to help combat anti-Semitism, fight bigotry and stereotyping and ensure proper legal and de-facto treatment of minority communities.
The interns receive hands-on experience through placements in the offices of local and state legislators and governmental agencies. They also participate in weekly intensive workshops with elected officials, top lobbyists, coalition builders, and high-level Jewish communal leaders to develop the skills necessary to become effective activists.
The bill’s signing was a significant milestone for the interns and the Simon Wiesenthal Center. It is a testament to the importance of advocacy and the power of the next generation to effect change. The interns played an instrumental role in advocating for this bill, and their hard work and dedication paid off.
This bill will improve the safety and security of Jewish students on college campuses in New York. It will also serve as a model for other states to follow in addressing the rising incidents of anti-Semitism on college campuses. The Simon Wiesenthal Center Government Advocacy Internship program equips the next generation of Jewish leaders with the skills necessary to effect change and make a difference in their communities.