By Kevin J. Jones
Synagogues in New Jersey should stay alert in light of a possible threat, the FBI said Thursday.
“The FBI has received credible information of a broad threat to synagogues in NJ,” the Newark office of the FBI said on Twitter Thursday afternoon. “We ask at this time that you take all security precautions to protect your community and facility.”
“Stay alert. In case of emergency call police,” the agency added. “We are taking a proactive measure with this warning while investigative processes are carried out.”
CNA reached out to the Newark Archdiocese and the New Jersey Catholic Conference for comment and will update as necessary.
In a report released earlier this year, the Anti-Defamation League said there were at least 2,717 known anti-Semitic incidents across the U.S. in 2021, a 34% rise over the previous year.
In May 2021, leading U.S. bishops decried a rise in anti-Semitic incidents.
“We cannot remain silent when we witness our brothers and sisters suffering on account of being Jewish, and we will never tire of our commitment to decry every form of hatred, especially those formed in contempt of faith,” Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a joint statement with Bishop David Talley of Memphis, chair of the U.S. bishops’ ecumenical and interreligious affairs committee.
In February 2020, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, said the Catholic Church has “firmly condemned” anti-Semitism. He warned against “false and hateful” rhetoric against Jews on social media.
In October 2018, a gunman attacked the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh during morning Shabbat services. Shouting anti-Semitic slogans, the attacker killed eight men and three women.
In December 2019 in Jersey City, New Jersey, two gunmen shot and killed four people, including two Orthodox Jews, at a cemetery and kosher supermarket.
Catholic churches suffered a spate of vandalism since 2020, and churches and pro-life pregnancy centers have been targeted for vandalism and arson amid tensions over the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of the Roe v. Wade pro-abortion decision.