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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

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Thoughts and prayers; expressions of outrage; hand-wringing, finger-pointing, and bickering on social media…ENOUGH!

On behalf of everyone at Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey, our hearts break and our blood boils from the impact of anti-Semitism, the loss of life, the spread of hate escalating from Jersey City to Monsey and far beyond. But the world hardly needs one more Jewish organization’s statement of condolences, or resolve, or rebuke.

For those in Monmouth and Greater Middlesex counties—the heart of New Jersey—here is what you need to know. In addition to the education, advocacy and security work Federation has already increased:

Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey is working in lock step with law enforcement at the local, state and federal levels to address the needs and concerns of the Jewish community.

Speaking with the governor, lieutenant governor, head of the NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, the U.S. Attorney for NJ, NJ State Attorney General, and leadership from the NJ State Police and the FBI, Federation was informed that they are renewing their commitment and increasing all resources to address the rise in anti-Semitic acts.

They further informed us, at this time, there is no known information to suggest a threat to the U.S. Jewish community. We urge all community members to maintain heightened awareness and vigilance in our community.

Separately, regarding the Highland Park graffiti incident that took place over this past weekend, Federation has been supporting those involved with the investigation as well as Highland Park residents through information and resource sharing.

The most constructive thing all Jewish community members can do at this time is to share any observations or information they may have about any suspicious or suspected bias through official reporting channels, rather than social media. After contacting local law enforcement, incident-reporting channels are by phone at 866-4-SAFENJ (866-472-3365) or online at: www.jewishheartnj.org/incident

Using proper reporting channels, even information or observations that one might not think are significant, or one might assume have already been reported, can contribute to law enforcement’s investigations and dealings with responsible parties to the fullest extent of the law, as well as trend spotting and prevention.

Whereas speculation on social media can sow division and hearsay rather than strengthening communal response, Jewish Federation encourages all who wish to take action to get involved in the heart of NJ’s Jewish Community Relations Council (the JCRC). To push back on hate, we must work as one. Learn more at jewishheartnj.org/jcrc or contact Federation at 732-588-1836.

Lisa Karasic
Chief Marketing Officer
The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey