WESTERN ORANGE – A trio of Nazi swastikas drawn outside a synagogue have been denounced by local residents and lawmakers as an “heinous and despicable” act.
Before 2 p.m. on Saturday, a jogger found the symbols drawn on the sidewalk of B’nai Shalom Temple on Pleasant Valley Way, township officials said.
West Orange Police immediately launched an investigation, which is ongoing, and the offensive symbols have been removed.
A joint statement criticizing the incident was released and posted on official social media pages and the Township of West Orange website.
“Acts of anti-Semitism or attacks of bias against any faction in our society, whether physical, verbal or symbolic, will not be tolerated at West Orange”
“In the strongest terms possible, Mayor Robert D. Parisi, Council President Cindy Matute-Brown, Councilor Michelle Casalino, Councilor Susan McCartney, Councilor Bill Rutherford and Councilor Tammy Williams as well as the entire West Orange municipal government are resolved with all residents to speak out against the cowardly acts of hatred perpetrated against our Jewish brothers and sisters.
“Acts of anti-Semitism or attacks of bias against any faction in our society, whether physical, verbal or symbolic, will not be tolerated in West Orange,” the joint statement continued, also stating “Those of our residents who bore witness to the Holocaust and the sacrifice of our WWII veterans is the lasting legacy of our fight against this specific sectarianism today. “
Justin Goldsman, whose family has attended the temple their entire lives, also denounced the discovery on Twitter.
“Recently, three swastikas were discovered outside the B’nai Shalom temple. This disgusting act of hate does not represent our community. West Orange stands with our Jewish community against all acts of hate, ”MP John McKeon said on Twitter.
“Anti-Semitism has no place here and will never be tolerated,” he added.
Earlier this month, an anti-Semitic sticker also featuring a swastika was found outside a synagogue in Mount Laurel as Chanukah was observed.
Mount Laurel Police responded to the Adath Emanu-El Synagogue on Elbo Lane to investigate the sticker found on a no-parking sign in the temple parking lot.
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