Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Anti-Semitic Attacks Condemned

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Anti-Semitic Attacks Condemned

Article excerpt

More than two dozen religious leaders and politicians released a statement Monday condemning a series of recent anti-Semitic incidents across Bergen County.

A draft of the statement, released to coincide with the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, was first written by state Sen. Loretta Weinberg, D-Teaneck, and a staffer, before being circulated to many of the signatories, including Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli and nearly every one of the county's state legislators.

"To the individual or individuals responsible for the attacks on synagogues in Bergen County -- your terroristic acts will not break the bond of community we share," the statement read. "You will be caught, and you will be held accountable for your crimes."

On Dec. 10, swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti were discovered at Reconstructionist Temple Beth Israel in Maywood, and a similar act of vandalism was reported at Temple Beth El, a Conservative synagogue in Hackensack, on Dec. 21.

On Jan. 3, arsonists used an accelerant to start a fire in the rear of Congregation K'hal Adath Jeshurun in Paramus.

The fourth -- and most vicious -- attack occurred last Wednesday morning, when a Molotov cocktail was tossed into a second-floor window of the living quarters at the Congregation Beth El synagogue on Montross Avenue in Rutherford, injuring a rabbi and terrifying his family.

The latest incident was Friday, when more anti-Semitic graffiti was discovered at Beaver Dam Park in Fair Lawn. Investigators are unsure whether any of the incidents are related.

Among the religious leaders who signed Monday's statement were four rabbis, six Christian ministers and three Muslim leaders.

In recognizing King, the letter quotes from the civil rights leader's "Letter From a Birmingham Jail," written in 1963.

"Let's remember his famous quote while imprisoned in Birmingham, Alabama -- 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,' " the statement read. …

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