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April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Bergen County’

Two New Jersey Men Plead Not Guilty in Synagogue Bombings

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Two New Jersey men, indicted in March for arson and attempted murder and terrorism, pleaded not guilt in a New Jersey court this week.

Anthony Graziano of Lodi and Aakash Dalal of New Brunswick, both 21, were arrested after the northern New Jersey’s Bergen County bombings, one of which injured Beth El Congregation Rabbi Nosson Schuman.

The attackers hurled a firebomb at the family’s residential unit in the synagogue, setting fire to a bedroom.

NJ Derails Opening of Jewish Charter School

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

A Hebrew charter school in Bergen County, N.J., will not open as expected because the state said it failed to provide some needed documents.

Shalom Academy, according to a letter written Monday by Acting Education Commissioner Chris Cerf to the school’s founder, Raphael Bachrach, did not provide a certificate of occupancy for educational use and a “sanitary inspection report with a satisfactory rating,” The New York Jewish Week reported.

The charter school, which was scheduled to open in several weeks, was approved initially in January and was set to provide a Hebrew immersion program for up to 240 students from kindegarten to eighth grade.

Local school leaders reportedly opposed the academy, which would serve children in Teaneck and Englewood, saying it would drain resources from the public schools.

Cerf wrote that Shalom can appeal the state’s decision to Superior Court, the Record of Hackensack reported. The next application deadline for which the school is eligible is April 1, 2013.

The Shalom Academy would have been the second Hebrew-immersion charter school in the state, joining the Hatikvah International Academy that opened last year in East Brunswick with 108 students in kindergarten through second grade. Ninety percent of its students come from East Brunswick.

Heightened Security at New Jersey Synagogues

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

NEW YORK (JTA) — As Jews in some northern New Jersey communities made their way to synagogue last Shabbat, the scene was slightly different from the typical day of rest.

Extra police cars were on patrol near synagogues. At Bnei Yeshurun in Teaneck, a new buzzer system had been installed. And at Ahavath Torah in Englewood, a phalanx of security guards stood sentry.

The heightened caution comes after a month of increasingly worrisome attacks against synagogues in Bergen County, an affluent part of New York City’s suburbs with a sizable Jewish population.

“There was a profound sense of unease this past Shabbat in Bergen County,” Etzion Neuer, the acting regional director of the New Jersey branch of the Anti-Defamation League, said this week. “It’s largely anecdotal, but in conversations I’ve had with individuals and community leaders, there is a strong sense of unease and real anxiety over what’s happened lately.”

What’s happened is a string of attacks against Jewish institutions. The attacks began on Dec. 10, when the exterior of Temple Beth Israel in Maywood was spray-painted with swastikas and the phrase “Jews did 9/11.” Eleven days later, Temple Beth El in neighboring Hackensack was similarly defaced with graffiti.

On Jan. 3, an arsonist targeted Congregation K’Hal Adath Jeshurun in Paramus, which borders Hackensack and Maywood. And on Jan. 11, five Molotov cocktails were thrown through the window of a synagogue and rabbi’s residence in Rutherford, burning the rabbi’s hands and forcing his family to flee from the building.

“As I was trying to smother the flames on the windowsill with my blanket, I looked out and saw another incendiary on the roof,” Rabbi Nosson Schuman told JTA. “That’s when I realized it was a hate crime.”

The attacks come as another New York area neighborhood, the heavily Jewish Midwood section of Brooklyn, saw a spate of incidents in recent months, including the torching of parked vehicles, threatening phone calls and swastikas. On Monday, police arrested a New York City Jewish man suspected in those attacks, raising the specter that anti-Semitism was not the motive.

In New Jersey, no arrests have been made in the attacks, which have undermined the sense of security of one of the country’s largest and most established Jewish communities. ADL tripled its original offer for information leading to the arrest of the Rutherford perpetrator, to $7,500, after community members chipped in their own money.

“You may get leaders who are publicly putting on a bright face but are privately concerned about their communities,” Neuer said. “Anxiety is not inherently healthy, but in this particular case it is natural, and what we would like is for leaders to channel that anxiety into better security policies.”

In an effort to do that, law enforcement officials met last week with representatives of more than 80 Jewish institutions to discuss security measures for synagogues and schools. The meeting, held at the Paramus headquarters of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, reviewed current procedures and introduced new measures for tightened security around Jewish communities.

“This is a new type of training for us,” said Ruth Gafni, principal of the Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County. “We have lived in such a peaceful way so far and we’ve been so blessed to feel so safe and secure. This attack has changed the playing field.”

Also over the past week, more than a dozen Jewish institutions have reached out for help to the Community Security Service, a nonprofit organization that provides training and services that aim to help tighten security at Jewish facilities.

Joshua Glice, the director of synagogue and school operations for the service, told JTA that he had conducted risk assessment studies this week for rabbis at their homes.

The attack that raised special concern in New Jersey was the Rutherford incident, which was the first anti-Jewish attack to result in injury.

At 4:30 a.m. on Jan. 11, Schuman was awakened by the sound of the Molotov cocktails entering his home, which is attached to the synagogue he leads. Schuman’s wife, children and parents escaped from the fire without injury, but the rabbi endured the burns to his hands. Bergen County’s prosecutor, John Molinelli, said he will charge the perpetrator with attempted murder, according to The Record newspaper.

“Someone was clearly trying to kill me and my family,” Schuman said, “not just damage the synagogue.”

According to the ADL, New Jersey typically reports one of the higher totals for anti-Semitic incidents in the United States, owing largely to its sizable and visible Jewish population.

The ADL’s 2010 national audit of anti-Semitic incidents reported 130 incidents statewide, placing New Jersey third in the nation after California and New York. The figure was 132 the previous year. Most of the incidents in the ADL survey are acts of harassment or vandalism; only a tiny minority are acts of physical violence.

Attack on N.J. Synagogue Being Treated as Murder Attempt

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

An explosive thrown through the window of a New Jersey synagogue and residence is being treated as attempted murder, the Bergen County prosecutor said.

The latest in a string of attacks that have hit the county’s synagogues recently took place Wednesday morning at Congregation Beth El in Rutherford. The Orthodox synagogue also doubles as a home for its rabbi, Nosson Schuman, and his family.

Schuman suffered slight burns as a result of the explosive, The Record newspaper reported. No one else was hurt.

In the past month, synagogues have been attacked in Paramus, Maywood and Hackensack. Police are unsure if the attacks are related.

Prosecutor John Molinelli will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. Wednesday to talk about the recent attacks.

A previously scheduled meeting involving law enforcement and representatives of 80 synagogues and Jewish day schools to discuss enhanced security measures in the wake of the attacks will be held Thursday.

“This is getting out of control, this is so troublesome,” Joy Kurland, director of Jewish Community Relations for the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, which is organizing the meeting, told The Record. “This is beyond comprehension that someone could do such horrible harm to a rabbi and his family.”

The Anti-Defamation League is offering a $2,500 reward for any information leading to arrest of the perpetrators.

A Gracious Community Near The Lincoln Tunnel

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

      The gala annual dinner for Mosdos Sanz Klausenburg of Union City was held on March 5. The Mesivta Sanz in Union City is a remarkable organization for all to admire and emulate.

 

      Having grown up in Union City where their father, Rabbi Harold Hirschman, was the rabbi for over forty years at Temple Israel Emanuel, the Hirschman children witnessed the declining population of Orthodox Jews who migrated over time to the northern suburbs of Bergen and Rockland counties. During the High Holidays in the late 70′s, the Modern Orthodox synagogue in Union City was reduced to barely a minyan. The local Yeshiva of Hudson County which serviced the community at the time metamorphosed into the Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey in Bergen County which currently enjoys a flourishing student population with over 900 students.

 

      Since the 1980′s, the Klausenburg community ensured continuity of Yiddishkeit in Union City by taking over the existing shul and community center. After the passing of Rabbi Hirschman, Rebbetzin Hirschman chose to continue to live in Union City until very recently.

 

      Anyone who wishes to conveniently catch a minyan when traveling via the Lincoln Tunnel to or from NYC is welcome to daven with the community. In fact, if you want to visit the matzoh baking factory, or to just get an extra dose of spirituality and Yiddishkeit within the enclave of Union City, feel free to stop by at 3400 New York Avenue in Union City, or call the office for more information regarding time schedules: 201-867-8690.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/a-gracious-community-near-the-lincoln-tunnel-2/2011/03/30/

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