A Man Threw A Molotov Cocktail At A New Jersey Synagogue
A man in a ski mask threw a Molotov cocktail at a synagogue in New Jersey early Sunday, an incident police are now investigating as a bias crime.
Surveillance footage shows the suspect, clad in all-black clothing, outside Temple Ner Tamid in Bloomfield, New Jersey, just after 3 a.m. He is seen lighting the Molotov cocktail, hurling it at the building’s entrance, and then running away.
The explosive device’s glass bottle broke, but “did not cause any damage to the Temple,” Bloomfield Police said in a news release.
The suspect has not yet been identified. Police said he is believed to be a white man, and have requested anyone with information about the incident to contact them.
Several law enforcement agencies are assisting with the investigation, including the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
“Hate and antisemitism will not be tolerated and have no place in our welcoming community,”Remembranceaid in a Facebook post. “Our thoughts and prayers are with our entire Jewish community.”
The synagogue’s rabbi, Marc Katz, said in a statement to Patch that the safety measures that were already in place protected the building from being damaged.
“Everything worked as it should,” Katz said. “Our cameras recorded the incident and our shatter-resistant doors held.”
He also expressed the importance of sticking together as a Jewish community and not giving in to fear.
“There is hate everywhere, and hate wins when we let it penetrate,” Katz said. “When the weight of this grows too heavy, I remind my congregation that every day, despite what is happening, in Jewish communities around the world, babies are named, children are educated, and people are married.”
“Our religious traditions continue,” he said. “No act of hate can stop the power of religious freedom.”
In a statement, the Anti-Defamation League of New York and New Jersey said they were “outraged” by the incident, which they said came at a time when “we have seen a spike in antisemitic incidents.”
“It also took place on the heels of International Holocaust Remembrance Day when we are reminded of where such horrific actions can lead,” the ADL said.
In a separate New Jersey incident, officials said a “possible bias-motivated incident” occurred Sunday during an anti-racism event at Trinity Episcopal Church in Asbury Park. Details of what transpired were not immediately released, but there were “no known or confirmed resultant injuries to any civilians,” according to the Monmouth County prosecutor’s office.
The attack on Temple Ner Tamid is just one of many recent incidents in which synagogues have been threatened with violence. Antisemitic beliefs and conspiracy theories have at times inspired deadly attacks on Jewish people, with several being committed at synagogues in recent years.
In November, Jewish communities across New Jersey were sent into a panic after the FBI warned of a “broad threat” to synagogues across the state. A suspect, who was arrested days later, allegedly wrote a violent screed detailing his hatred of Jews and his desire to commit a deadly attack on a synagogue.
In October 2018, a man who railed against Jews online fatally shot 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Less than a year later, a man who praised the Pittsburgh shooter in an online diatribe fatally shot a woman at a synagogue in Poway, California. And in recent months, antisemitism has trended on social media, as some of the biggest names in the country have spouted conspiracy theories and disturbing beliefs.