Saturday, March 25, 2023

Following Shacharit this morning we were shocked to find a pair of swastikas scrawled in chalk in the parking lot adjacent to our shul. We immediately notified the Union Police Department, which has begun an investigation into this unconscionable hate crime. With assistance from our local federation, we have also been in contact with the county sheriff’s office and the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. We deeply appreciate the swift response from local authorities and look forward to collaborating with the Union Police Department to bring the perpetrator(s) to swift justice.

Just a few weeks ago we gathered at our Seder table on Pesach and acknowledged that שלא אחד בלבד עמד עלינו לכלותנו; in every generation there are those who seek to destroy our people. That reminder has now been brought to our holy doorstep. Yet, הקב״ה מצילנו מידם—just as God graciously saved us from the fires of Auschwitz, He continues to protect us from those who seek to perpetuate Hitler’s hateful ideology in this land of the free.

The Elmora Hills Minyan stands united with all people of goodwill in condemning in the strongest possible terms the abhorrent nature of the anti-Semitic vandalism. We remain committed to fighting hatred, bigotry and intolerance in all its repulsive forms. As the winds of hate swirl around us, we remain committed to continue to be a symbol of peace and tolerance in this community now and in the future.

Our community was built on the shoulders of Holocaust survivors. In fact, one of our founding members, Rabbi Joseph Preil, z”l, founded the Holocaust Resource Center at nearby Kean University to combat such hatred throughout the state of New Jersey. This morning’s shocking hate crime will not intimidate us or in any way weaken our resolve to continue fighting hatred while proudly practicing our religion as we live peacefully alongside our fellow Americans.

Michael Bleicher, rabbi

Shlomo Lieberman, president

Elmora Hills Minyan, Union

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