Anti-Semitism Strikes Again In Edison Township, New Jersey

| October 22, 2009

A New Jersey township was hit last month with its second anti-Semitic attack in two weeks, just a few hours after the end of Yom Kippur.

Early Tuesday, members of Edison Township’s Congregation Beth-El were horrified to discover that the front doors and windows of their house of worship were covered with three huge blue spray-painted Nazi swastikas.

The Anti-Defamation League announced that it would offer a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators of the vandalism at the synagogue.

Local Police Chief Brian Collier told the New Jersey Star Ledger, “We’re certainly not pleased with this kind of nonsense.” The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office is also involved in the investigation because the incident was classified as a bias crime.

Police were tight-lipped on whether there was a link between the vandalism and a vicious attack nine days earlier on a 16-year-old student at the Rabbi Jacob Joseph Yeshiva on Rosh Hashanah.

The student, a resident of the town, told police detectives that a gang of youths in their mid-to-late teens shouted anti-Semitic slurs at him while beating him. They jumped him from behind, knocked him down, and one youth punched him in the head with a fist. The boy sustained a cut above his right eye and was later hospitalized with a concussion. The attack was classified as a bias crime.

There have been several other anti-Semitic incidents in Edison this year, including a swastika painted on a man’s car in a shopping center parking lot in July, another one painted on a fence in June, and a third scrawled with a black marker in March on a local church.

Last year, obscene and anti-Semitic graffiti was discovered scrawled on the walls inside the yeshiva, according to the New Jersey Jewish News. Students and a staff member told the newspaper they were often taunted by neighborhood youths, who yelled anti-Semitic slurs at them as they walked by.

Rabbi Dr. Bernard Rosenberg, the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth-El, said that there was a pattern to the incidents, adding, “If you don’t punish people, they will continue to do it.” (

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Category: Synagogue/Jewish Security

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