Jewish Leaders Meet With Police, Officials in Safety Summit After String of Hate Crimes

Leaders push for increased security measures, more awareness

Nearly 200 people gathered for a security briefing at the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey Thursday, eager to hear from law enforcement and elected officials about new safety measures in the wake of recent hate crimes across New Jersey communities.

One of the attendees was Rabbi Nosson Schuman, whose home was vandalized Wednesday in what police called an attempted murder.

"I think there's now going to be more awareness of what's going on, and I think it's much more difficult for the next attacks to take place," said Schuman.

Jason Shames of the Jewish Federation of Northern NJ said, "We want to work with the authorities and just solve this and make sure any institution like ours -- any religion, any faith -- does not have to live in a situation where feel threatened or at risk."

The idea of the safety summit came after four anti-Semitic attacks, all within weeks of each other. It started with vandalism in Maywood and Hackensack, and escalated with an attempted fire at a Paramus temple.

But after Molotov cocktails were thrown at the house of Rabbi Schuman, the meeting has taken on a new urgency. 

"It was a recipe for mass murder, this is deadly serious," said Congressman Steve Rothman. "We're gonna do what we have to to catch the perpetrators."

While they appear to be hate crimes, it is not clear if this is the work of a few different people or an organized group.

A reward has been issued for information that can solve these crimes.

"The community response has been strong on this. We're able to announce the reward is now $7,500 dollars," said Etzion Neuer.

Contact Us