The Levine Center to End Hate

ROCHESTER, NY – The Levine Center to End Hate announced a special campaign to show gratitude for loved ones and community members by sending them personalized notes called LoveGrams. This initiative encourages individuals to connect with in a meaningful way during the weeks leading up to and on Valentine’s Day.

The campaign, which runs from February 1-14, comes on the heels of Governor Hochul’s efforts to combat the increasing incidents of hate crimes across New York state. The Governor’s office is proposing $60 million in the budget dedicated to addressing the 400% increase of threats towards Jewish and Muslim residents since October 7th.

“Since the despicable Hamas attacks of October 7, there has been a disturbing rise in hate crimes against Jewish and Muslim New Yorkers. In recent years we’ve seen hate-fueled violence targeting Black residents of Buffalo and disturbing harassment of AAPI and LGBTQ+ individuals on the streets of New York City. We will never rest until all New Yorkers feel safe, regardless of who they are, who they love, or how they worship,” said Hochul on at the State of the State address in Albany in January.

“We believe that one of the best ways to counter hate is with acts of kindness and love,” says Levine Center Director Monica Gebell. “This temporary initiative aims to remind people that they are appreciated or loved. It’s one small step any of us can take to make someone else’s day, week, or month a little better.”

The Levine Center has partnered with St Joseph Neighborhood Center, Volunteers of America, and the Veterans Outreach Center to give the opportunity to send a LoveGram to one of Rochester’s “unsung heroes” who work selflessly at these organizations. However, those who send a LoveGram have an opportunity to honor workers at any organization that supports its surrounding community, anywhere in the country. The Levine Center will send a customized LoveGram to them just in time for Valentine’s Day, through snail mail, or for recipients outside of Rochester, electronically.

“This is an opportunity to honor your favorite teacher who puts in the extra effort to help or the bus driver who always smiles and wishes you ‘Good Morning’,” says Gebell. “I myself am inspired by a group of local barbers who give free haircuts to those in need and a woman in my neighborhood who gives out kits of essentials to people experiencing homelessness. This is a way to show them that you recognize their role in the community and that you care.”

LoveGrams are the next initiative in the Levine Center’s “Spread Love. End Hate.” campaign that started with their Concert to End Hate last fall. The organization is also

actively enlisting Love Ambassadors to support forthcoming endeavors aimed at combating hate in Greater Rochester.

“Love should be shared and celebrated by everyone,” adds Gebell. “With these LoveGrams, we aim to create a ripple effect of kindness and warmth, connecting people in a meaningful way while supporting our cause to end hate in our community. Help us build a world where everyone is seen, valued, and cherished.”

Those interested in sending a LoveGram can do so on the Levine Center website at endhateroc.org/lovegram. Orders for notes sent through regular mail close on Thursday, February 8th, and orders for notes sent electronically close on Sunday, February 11th.

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MEDIA CONTACT

Chaz Goodman cgoodman@jewishrochester.org

585.241.8648 (office)

585.507.5109 (mobile)

About the LEVINE CENTER TO END HATE

The mission of the Levine Center to End Hate at the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester is to unite the greater Rochester community in overcoming hate through education, dialogue, and positive action. The Levine Center has organized several high-impact events, including The Concert to End Hate; Braiding Bread: Breaking Bread; Blacks and Jews in America: An Invitation to Dialogue; Youth United: Building A Better Rochester; and its annual Brave Spaces: Rochester’s Summit to End Hate. The Levine Center’s Youth Ambassador Council, a diverse group of high school students from across Monroe County, engages in community outreach aimed at interrupting bias, discrimination, and hate.

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