In a stunning incident that comes less than a week after the approval of Jackson’s deal to settle the New Jersey Attorney General’s lawsuit over anti-Orthodox Jewish discrimination, a group of Jackson residents hired a private investigator to stake out a home where Orthodox Jewish worshippers were legally holding prayers.
The disturbing scene unfolded this past Shabbos, September 2nd, at a home in the S. New Prospect area of Jackson. The private investigator – who Lakewood Alerts has identified as Rich Coombs of Lemieux & Associates – sat in a vehicle outside the home for hours, snapping photos of worshippers entering and exiting the residence.
Lakewood Alerts has conclusively confirmed that the private investigator was hired by local residents, and was not employed by Jackson Township, which was accused of spying on homes where legal worshipping was taking place in the lawsuit it has just settled.
The incident is incredibly shocking, as it comes on the heels of Jackson Township settling with both the federal Justice Department and the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office over similar allegations.
Additionally, this weekend’s spying is particularly troubling as it comes against the backdrop of a worrying increase in anti-Semitic attacks in New Jersey and across the country. Aside from the patently hateful act of spying on a religious gathering, this incident served only to increase fear and concerns for their safety among Jackson’s Orthodox Jewish population.
It will be interesting to see whether this revelation will spark a new investigation by the New Jersey Attorney General into anti-Orthodox Jewish hate that is clearly still rampant in Jackson Township.