Bomb threat clears South Jersey synagogue

| August 5, 2009

LONG BRANCH — Hundreds of people Tuesday night had to clear out of a city synagogue, one of three temples threatened with bombs.

Deal police received a call shortly after 8 p.m. from an unidentified caller, who said there were bombs at one Deal temple and two on Park Avenue in the Elberon section of Long Branch, according to First Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Peter Warshaw.

Several law enforcement agencies were involved in the investigation, which was still active late Tuesday night. The agencies involved include the Prosecutor’s Office, the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, the State Police, county Homeland Security and the Deal and Long Branch police. The Federal Bureau of Investigations has been notified, Warshaw said.

At the time of the bomb threats, about 300 guests were celebrating the wedding of Yossi and Franie Teitlebaum at a catering hall near Congregation Brothers Israel, 250 Park Ave., Long Branch. The catering hall is at the corner of Park and Norwood avenues.

According to two of the guests, brothers Joshua and Jack Verstandig of Brooklyn, the guests calmly evacuated the synagogue.

Those at the congregation also carried out a couple dozen Torahs.

A nearby neighbor invited the wedding guests to his house to continue the celebration. According to the guests, the couple was dancing in the backyard. At about 10 p.m., music could be heard coming from the house.

"It goes to show that the joy of life continues," said Rabbi Dovid Smith of Passaic, one of the wedding guests.

Congregation Brothers Israel is about a block away from the NJ Transit train station.

The streets around Park Avenue reopened to traffic around 11:20 p.m.

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Category: Synagogue/Jewish Security

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