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Latest NJ 'Hate Crime' Leaves Jewish Community Shaken

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By Benge Nsenduluka, CP Reporter
January 12, 2012|4:31 pm

Another religious center has been attacked in what law officials fear could be hate crimes, in the Rutherford, N.J. area on Wednesday.

The Jewish community has been left shaken after the Beth El synagogue was attacked with Molotov cocktails, endangering a local Rabbi and his family after a fire broke out.

While no one was seriously injured, the FBI is treating the incident as an attempted murder, but Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli has urged the community not to live in fear, according to AP.

"The manner in which this heinous crime has been committed has brought our office to really raise consciousness on this," Molinelli told AP.

"This is certainly a hate crime, this is certainly a bias crime, this is aggravated arson, but most importantly, we are now looking on this as an attempted homicide," he added.

In the past three weeks synagogues in Hackensack, Maywood and Paramus have all been the target of anti-Semitic abuse.

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This attack has sparked an intense probe involving local and federal law enforcement, and religious organizations that simply want to put an end to it.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which is designed to fight against anti-Semitism, bigotry, and extremism has now put up a $2,500 reward for help identifying the culprit.

"We view these as part of a deeply troubling continuum that we pray will end now," said Etzion Neuer, an ADL representative.

Rabbi Nosson Schuman of Congregation Beth El is believed to have been in bed when the device was thrown through his bedroom window and set his blanket on fire.

Schuman, whose wife and five children were also in the home at the time of attack, was able to escort his family to safety with minimal injuries.

It is unclear whether law enforcement officials have established any leads or theories explaining the reasons for the attacks.

 

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