Swastikas Spray Painted On Synagogue On Yom Kippur

| September 30, 2009

Someone spray-painted swastikas on the windows of Congregation Beth El, a synagogue in Edison, right after members celebrated Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar.

"It makes my skin crawl to come driving up here and see this kind of thing," said Lee Livingston of the Middlesex County Jewish Federation.

When asked what goes through his mind, member Marc Heller answered, "Anger. Nausea."

Rabbi Bernhard Rosenberg, whose parents survived concentration camps, said the people who committed this hateful act didn’t even know how to spray-paint a swastika. They’re backwards.

"But I can guarantee you I’m going to catch these guys. I think they’re teenagers because the swastikas are not done very professionally," Rosenberg said.

The rabbi said he believes the swastikas were painted sometime before 8 p.m. Monday night, right after the high holidays. Police said this was the third anti-Semitic incident in the area in just the past two weeks.

"A young man from Rabbi Jacob School was beaten up. We got two of them already in police hands," Rosenberg said.

Police also made an arrest in the incident Monday where some one yelled out "Heil Hitler" to a group walking to a Highland Park temple.

Patrols were out in full force in Edison during the Jewish holidays and police canvassed the area questioning neighbors about the swastikas Tuesday.

"No matter how diligent we are, sometimes it’s very difficult to deter or apprehend the people responsible for these acts," said Edison Police Lieutenant Joseph Shannon.

"I think it’s stupid and I hope they catch the kids," said neighbor Gene Kurzenberger.

Members were already hard at work cleaning the swastikas so that children coming to Hebrew school don’t have to see them.

The Anti-Defamation League is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the people responsible.



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Category: Synagogue/Jewish Security

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