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Goshen, N.Y. – Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler joined Rabbi Rachel Rubenstein, Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orange County, to present a “Speak Up to Stand Up Against Hate” seminar to students and staff at Minisink Valley High School on Monday, February 4th.
The “Speak Up to Stand Up Against Hate” program was designed to educate students, law enforcement and the larger community about hate speech and what constitutes a hate crime, the impact on victims, and small changes that can help prevent or stop hateful language and actions.
“This program encourages teenagers and adults to confront the uncomfortable dialogue that occurs every day in our society,” Hoovler said. “By engaging in that dialogue like we did today at Minisink Valley, we can highlight diversity and educate the students about speech that is unacceptable and even illegal.”
Added Rubenstein: “The Jewish Federation of Greater Orange County is proud to partner with District Attorney Hoovler’s office on this important initiative. We are committed to building an Orange County where we can truly say that hate is not welcome here.”
Hoovler joined the Jewish Federation of Greater Orange County and administrators from local school districts to announce the District Attorney’s Office Hate Crimes Awareness Initiative. The program is designed to raise awareness about hate crimes committed in the community and to enhance the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes. According to Hoovler, the Hate Crimes Awareness Initiative was created, in part, as the result of investigations into several hate crimes that have been committed in Orange County in recent years.
In November of last year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released its hate crimes statistics for 2017, revealing an increase of 17 percent in reported hate crimes from the previous year.
“I commend District Attorney Hoovler for his efforts in raising awareness about hate crimes and the impact they have on the victims,” Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus said. “Hate crimes are offensive on every level and hurt not just the victims, but the entire community. Today’s seminar at Minisink Valley served as an important educational tool and sends the message that this type of behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in Orange County.”
To report a hate crime, residents can call the District Attorney’s Hate Crimes Hotline at 1-800-378-1411. For more information about the District Attorney’s Hate Crimes Awareness Initiative, contact Counsel to the District Attorney Robert Conflitti at 845-291-2050 or DACommunityAffairs@orangecountygov.com.