Video shows vandal throw Molotov cocktail at New Jersey synagogue

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Monday, January 30, 2023
Video shows vandal throw Molotov cocktail at NJ temple
Authorities are looking for a man who threw a Molotov cocktail at Temple Ner Tamid synagogue in Boomfield, New Jersey early Sunday morning. Anthony Johnson has the story.

BLOOMFIELD, New Jersey (WABC) -- Authorities are looking for a vandal who tried to set a temple in New Jersey on fire over the weekend in an incident apparently motivated by hate.

Surveillance video shows the masked suspect approaching Temple Ner Tamid in Bloomfield early Sunday and tossing a Molotov cocktail.

The masked suspect is seen on video strolling around the property and he appears calm as he walks to the side of the building.

Video shows him lighting the device and throwing it at the front door of the synagogue. Fortunately it didn't cause any damage.

Officials found the device and notified police. Security has since been beefed up.

The rabbi said he is not surprised it happened in light of all the antisemitism spreading throughout the country.

"Antisemitism has been around for as long as the Jewish people have been around. And especially over the last few years, antisemitism has felt more open, much more prevalent," said Rabbi Marc Katz.

Members of the New York and New Jersey Anti-Defamation League met Monday morning in the city to address the growing numbers of attacks on Jewish people and their houses of worship.

The attack came a day before the Anti-Defamation League released a survey with troubling findings.

"Here we just had International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and a huge percentage of Americans believe that the Jewish state treats Palestinians the way that the genocidal Nazi regime did -- this is beyond absurd," said Regional Director Scott Richman.

Religious leaders believe that false accusations about Jewish people are fueling the rise in antisemitic crimes.

The temple has been beefing up security since the protests in Charlottesville and the synagogue attack in Pittsburgh. The synagogue had reinforced glass to protect it from attacks.

"We've actually been preparing for this day unknowingly for many years. We put shatterproof screens on doors and windows, boulders to make sure no one can drive into buildings, panic buttons and security cameras everywhere. Idea is that we live in a society where religious institutions are under attack," Katz said.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said he strongly condemned the incident, as well as another possibly bias-motivated attack at a church in Monmouth County.

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