Molotov cocktail thrown at New Jersey synagogue, authorities say
A man wearing a ski mask threw a Molotov cocktail at a New Jersey synagogue early Sunday, police and the synagogue said.
Police in Bloomfield, New Jersey, said the suspect lit a Molotov cocktail around 3 a.m. Sunday and threw it at Temple Ner Tamid. The fire went out on impact and the suspect fled the scene, the synagogue and police said.
Bloomfield police released a still image of the suspect.
The Molotov cocktail’s bottle broke and the synagogue was undamaged, police said. No one was injured.
Temple Ner Tamid, which includes a preschool and a K-12 religious school, said in a statement that it was canceling all activities for Sunday and it expected “heightened police presence into the week.”
In a statement, Temple Ner Tamid’s Rabbi Marc Katz said, “we will continue to do everything in our power to keep our community safe.”
“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, people are married,” Katz said. “Our religious traditions continue. No act of hate can stop the power of religious freedom.”
Sunday’s attack comes only a few days after Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Dov Ben-Shimon, the CEO of the Jewish Federation of MetroWest New Jersey, tweeted Sunday that “this incident comes amidst a climate of intimidation and intolerance, and a rising tide of anti-Jewish hate crimes and hate speech against Jews.”
In November, the FBI in Newark issued a warning on social media that it had received “credible information of a broad threat to synagogues” in New Jersey. An 18-year-old man from Middlesex County was soon arrested and charged with threatening to attack a synagogue and Jews.
Mentioning the November incident, the Anti-Defamation League of New Jersey also said Sunday’s incident comes amid a “spike in antisemitic incidents.”
New Jersey Homeland Security tweeted that it is “closely monitoring” the incident.
New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin said in a statement Sunday that his office would be coordinating with local, county, state and federal law enforcement. He said his office is also aware of an attack on members of a church in Monmouth County that could be potentially motivated by bias.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted Sunday that he had been briefed on both incidents as well.