Since the beginning of this year, tombstones have been toppled at Jewish cemeteries in Missouri and Pennsylvania and nearly 100 Jewish Community Centers and schools nationwide have received bomb threats. The latest anti-semitic incident occurred in our own backyard.
Anti-semitic graffiti was discovered on the pedestrian bridge at South Mountain Reservation in South Orange late Tuesday morning. That evening, the Essex County Park Department, along with several Rabbis and community members, removed the offensive graffiti, reports The Village Green.
Community Leaders of Maplewood, South Orange, and Essex County all made statements of outrage and a firm stance against hate crimes in any form.
Maplewood Mayor Victor DeLuca and South Orange Village President Sheena Collum said, ““Hatred and bigotry against any group and in any form are unacceptable,” the statement read. “We, the elected leaders of South Orange and Maplewood, are united in speaking firmly and clearly against the rise of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism and misogyny in our country and within our communities.”
Congressman Donald M. Payne of the 10th district posted the following statement on his Facebook page. “I was disgusted to hear about this senseless act of anti-Semitism at the South Mountain Reservation Bridge. The wave of anti-Semitic threats around the country, including in New Jersey, is chilling, and we as a community must stand together against this hate. My deepest thanks and appreciation to the Essex County workers who swiftly removed the graffiti.”