New York, NY, January 11, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on law enforcement to increase security and patrols around synagogues, schools and other Jewish institutions in northern New Jersey following the firebombing of a synagogue in Rutherford.
Authorities said the fire in Congregation Beth El synagogue was sparked by an incendiary device thrown through a window. It was the second reported case of attempted arson against a Jewish house of worship in Bergen County in the past week. Police are also investigating the January 4 firebombing of a Paramus synagogue.
"An attack on a Jewish synagogue is an attack on the entire community," said Etzion Neuer, acting ADL New Jersey Director. "After this horrific attack in Rutherford and other synagogue attacks in Bergen County, we are urging law enforcement to increase patrols and security near synagogues and Jewish community buildings in northern New Jersey to help prevent this from happening again."
"We are also urging Jewish community institutions to consider adding cameras and other preventative security measures that can help deter acts of vandalism or other attacks," said Mr. Neuer. "We can help put a stop to stop these attacks if the entire community is aware and vigilant."
In December, two additional Bergen County synagogues were targeted by anti-Semitic graffiti. No arrests have been made in either of those cases so far.
"We applaud the work of the Bergen County prosecutor's office, which has made this investigation a top priority," Mr. Neuer said.
ADL, which initially offered a $1,000 reward for information in the first Bergen County synagogue arson, has increased the reward to $7,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the attacks.
ADL will be taking part in a security briefing for the Jewish community tomorrow evening in Bergen County.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.