A man attempted to set fire to a synagogue in New Jersey on Sunday morning, according to both the temple and the police.
Around three in the morning, the suspect lit a Molotov cocktail, tossed it towards Temple Ner Tamid’s entrance, and then ran away, according to a news release from Bloomfield police. Police reported that although the bottle broke, the building was unharmed.
According to its website, Temple Ner Tamid has both a preschool and a K–12 religious school. A “welcoming, diverse, and musical Reform congregation where members connect with their heritage while thinking proactively about the present” is how they describe themselves. In a phone contact with CNN, Temple Ner Tamid verified that the target was the synagogue.
Police in Livingston, New Jersey, said they would increase patrols of temples in the area due to the attack. Livingston is about eight miles west of Bloomfield.
We are aware of an attempted arson attack on a temple in Bloomfield NJ earlier this morning. As a result we have increased our patrols of our temples and will continue to do so until more information is obtained. If you see anything suspicious, please call us immediately.
— livingston police (@livingstonalert) January 29, 2023
New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin said in a statement that his office was investigating the arson attempt in collaboration with local, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.
He also referenced the protests over the death of Tyre Nichols, a young Black man who died after being beaten by police in Tennessee. “I want to reassure all New Jerseyans – especially our friends and neighbors of the Black community and the Jewish faith – that law enforcement continues to take the appropriate steps to increase our presence around sensitive places so that everyone in our state can worship, love, and live without fear of violence or threat.”
All activities at the synagogue have been paused for the day, and there will be “an ongoing, heightened police presence into the week,” according to a statement from the temple.
Rabbi Marc Katz of the synagogue voiced his rage at the crime and his appreciation for the Jewish community. In the temple’s statement, he said, “We have and will continue to do all in our ability to keep our community secure. “Everything performed as expected. Our shatter-resistant doors stood up, and our cameras captured the incident.
He continued, “But what I cannot do is persuade our community not to become discouraged.” “Hatred is pervasive and triumphs when we allow it to get within.
When this overwhelms me, I tell my congregation that every day, despite what is occurring, individuals are named, educated children are, and people get married in Jewish communities worldwide.
“Our religious customs still exist. No hate crime can undermine the influence of religious freedom. The CEO of Temple Ner Tamid’s parent organization, the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest New Jersey, Dov Ben-Shimon, stated on Twitter that the incident was a part of a more significant uptick in antisemitic hate crimes.
The “incident comes amidst a climate of intimidation and intolerance, and a rising tide of anti-Jewish hate crimes and hate speech against Jews,” he said.
To combat hatred, strengthen our fortitude, and advance safety and security, he stated, “Our Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ will continue to engage with all partners in the community.”
Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey denounced the assault on Sunday night. The governor tweeted on Sunday, “Let me be clear: There is no place for violence or hate in New Jersey, and I strongly condemn these atrocities.”
A synagogue was targeted by an unknown suspect with an incendiary device early one morning in Bloomfield, New Jersey, according to a statement from the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.
“There have been no reports of injuries or property damage. The incident is being aggressively investigated by law enforcement, the agency tweeted.
Anti-Semitic events increased 34% from the previous year to 2,717, according to the Anti-Defamation League Center on Extremism, which has been tracking such instances in the US since 1979.
For almost 4 years, Jason Martin has been a freelance writer for newspapers, journals, blogs, books, and online material. He covers the most recent news as well as many other topics.