Thursday marks exactly one year since the kosher market massacre in New Jersey where four people were shot and killed by two suspects.
A Jersey City synagogue is expected to hold a memorial ceremony to honor the lives of Det. Joseph Seals, Mindy Ferencz, Moshe Deutsch and Miguel Rodriguez. Since the shooting, the congregation's rabbi has made it her mission to fight antisemitism by building bridges between the Jewish community and the community as a whole.
"It's been a year born out of tragedy but a year that has been doing the really important work of really building what it truly means to be part of a community," said Rabbi Bronwen Mullin of congregation B'nai Jacob.
Mayor Steven Fulop, the Jersey City Police Department and family members of the victims will attend the memorial at Bayview Cemetery, where Det. Seals was fatally shot by suspects David Anderson and Francine Graham before they went on to commit what prosecutors called a hate-fueled domestic terror attack at JC Kosher Supermarket.
Seals was credited with ultimately thwarting the assailants’ original plans to cause more widespread devastation.
The rest of the victims were shot and killed inside the supermarket on Martin Luther King Boulevard. Two of the victims at the store were identified by members of the Orthodox Jewish community as Mindel Ferencz, 31, who with her husband owned the grocery, and 24-year-old Moshe Deutsch, a rabbinical student from Brooklyn who was shopping there. The third victim was store employee Douglas Miguel Rodriguez, 49.
Thursday's memorial will be closed to the public due to the pandemic.
“The shooting at the kosher market last year was a trauma for the community. Since then, we’ve focused on building coalitions that support nonviolence and social justice in Greenville and across the city,” said Michael Zwain, the President of Congregation B’nai Jacob.
“The Memorial is important so we can come together to honor the lives of the four people who died so tragically that day. May their memory be a blessing," he added.
Authorities said that Graham and Anderson had planned a bias crime against Jews and against the law enforcement community and did research on a Jewish community center in Bayonne before they decided to attack the market. The shooters were found dead when the gunfire ended.
The deadly attack later led New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy to sign a legislation expanding the definition of terrorism under state law in response.
Murphy said the law will make it clear that New Jersey is committed to the elimination of "hate in all its forms."