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Yesterday, September 6, residents of a neighborhood in East-Central New Jersey awoke to find swastikas and hate-filled slogans spray-painted on cars, sidewalks, fences, mailboxes and houses.

The words “kill the Jews” and swastikas defaced the Monmouth Heights neighborhood of Monmouth County, which is located in East-Central New Jersey.  Approximately 75,000 Jews live in Monmouth County, with several tens of thousands of Jews located in the Monmouth Heights neighborhood.

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Keith Krivitzky is the executive director of the Jewish Federation of Monmouth County.  He told The Jewish Press that while there are certainly Jewish families in the Monmouth Heights neighborhood, he didn’t think there was a higher concentration there than in the rest of Western Monmouth County.  “In fact,” Krivitizky said, “there isn’t even a single synagogue in that neighborhood,” although there are many elsewhere in the county.

While the choice of location may have been puzzling, the timing was less so.

In what some could call an act of prescience, the Monmouth County Federation had provided a “security preparedness workshop” to synagogue representatives and Jewish organizational leadership just hours before the attack occurred.  Krivitzky explained that there are “ongoing security awareness events and discussions throughout the year, but the workshop held on the evening of September 5 was set in advance of the Jewish high holidays,”  a time when Jews are more visible and, perhaps, more vulnerable.

It’s a tricky balance to ensure that the Jewish community is able to present a “warm and welcoming face, but at the same time we have the need to remain security conscious,” said Krivitzky.  He also said that while “the hate-graffiti was shocking, we have a great, longstanding relationship with the Manalapan Township Police Department and we have complete confidence that they will devote all the necessary attention to resolving this incident.”

The Monmouth County Board of Freeholders issued a press release condemning the hate wave.

Freeholder Deputy Director Thomas A. Arnone said “Religious persecution in any form is contrary to the founding principals of America.  While we’d like to think the treatment of the Jews during World War II taught us right from wrong, the sad fact is the lesson was lost on some people. I personally find this kind of vandalism despicable.”

The Manalapan Township Bias Crimes Unit is working on the investigation which has been labelled a hate crime.

Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni assured The Jewish Press that although he could not provide details on the record because the investigation is ongoing, the Prosecutor’s Office, working in coordination with the Manalapan Township Police Department, is fully engaged.

Krivitzky said that the Manalapan Township Public Works Department were brought in and “all traces of the offensive attacks are gone.”

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Lori Lowenthal Marcus is a contributor to the JewishPress.com. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com

20 COMMENTS

  1. You are blaming Obama for this? I blame the tea Party for this ignorance. How dare you blame the president. I blame republicans for this. They brought back racism in this country. The tea party blames the jews for eveything. This is thanks to the hatred of the president that this happened.

  2. The Tea Party blames the Jews? How much hallal kool aid have you had today? It is chairman barack, his nazi paymaster soros, samantha powers – his 'security adviser' who has called for a "US led NATO invasion of Israel to return the lands to the indigenous Arabs" – and prominent demoslamists like sharpton, jackson, clinton and their ilk that have spent all these years demonizing the Jews. Blaming obama? DAMN YES!! I defy you to post even ONE link or fact where the Tea Party blames the Jews for anything. In return, here's one about your beloved obama/pelosi owned (that was their words) occupy wall street movement: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/post/occupy-wall-street-does-anyone-care-about-the-anti-semitism/2011/03/29/gIQA43p8rL_blog.html

  3. BS'D

    AMERICAN JEWS ARE IN DANGER!

    As the economy in the United States worses…countless.

    neo-Nazi and white supremist groups are spreading their venemous.

    message on the internet and at public demonstrations calling for.

    violence against Jews and praising Hitler as a true hero!

    What does it take for Jews in America to WAKE UP..

    PACK UP AND COME HOME NOW TO ISRAEL BEFORE ITS TOO LATE!

    (See Website: http://WWW.SHUVA.NET.

    As a survivor of AUSCHWITZ said:

    "Once the world does "it" to us…Shame on them!

    TWICE…SHAME ON US!

    With love of G-D and Eretz Yisrael.

    Shifra Hoffman.

    Executive Director.

    SHUVA…THE ISRAEL EMERGENCY ALIYAH MOVEMENT.

  4. they sound alot like the nazi pary. You sir need to do some research. what about the mosque temples that are being attacked and the people being killed. Thats the reason for hate. I am the daughter of people who escaped from Nazi Germany. My uncle is a concentration camp survivor. He told me the nazi party reminded him of the tea party.

  5. Appears sandi couldn't handle the truth so she has blocked people. Not surprising. It is how kool aid slurpers function thru life. They are so unable to accept the truth, they go running into a closet and hide quivering from the fear of having to face the truth head on.

  6. Sandi, do you realize that your opinion is constructed from absolutely zero factual evidence whatsoever? Moreover, I should not expect any thing else from a blindly loyal emotionally driven supporter of Obama that has been drained of all mental faculties, soul and any ability to think for oneself.

  7. to you realize jay that you are the one who is blindly loyal to a racist tea party and the tax evador roomney. I would suggest you do some research. Also you are the one who is mental. anyone who can support a man like roomney defintily is looking for war

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