Top law enforcement officials have been demonstrating their commitment to ensuring the safety and security of New Jersey’s Jewish communities, holding a series of meetings with top leaders at several locations statewide.
New Jersey U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger visited Chabad headquarters at Rabbinical College of America in Morristown last week along with New Jersey State Police Regional Operations and Intelligence Center Section Commanding Officer Major Larry Williams, members of the NJSP Community Outreach Unit and other high ranking NJSP officials. Also present were representatives of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security, Morris County Prosecutor Robert Carroll, Morris County Sheriff James Gannon and other law enforcement officials. The group discussed security concerns amid rising anti-Semitism with Chabad’s head New Jersey emissary and Rabbinical College of America dean Rabbi Moshe Herson, Chabad assistant head New Jersey emissary Rabbi Mendy Herson, Chabad of Gloucester executive director and law enforcement chaplain Rabbi Avi Richler and NJSP chaplain Rabbi Abe Friedman, and was welcomed by hundreds of rabbinical students as they toured the campus.
“It was extremely reassuring to hear high ranking law enforcement officials reaffirming their commitment to the safety of our communities and our houses of worship,” said Rabbi Moshe Herson, who oversees several dozen Chabad centers throughout New Jersey.
Just days earlier, New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin spent time addressing concerns with Lakewood community leaders at Beth Medrash Govoha. Among those in attendance were BMG CEO Yosef Heinemann, Lakewood committeeman Meir Lichtenstein, Agudath Israel of America’s New Jersey director Rabbi Avi Schnall, chaplains Yisroel Bursztyn and Yaakov Wenger and others.
“It was an honor to host Attorney General Platkin in Lakewood to discuss our security concerns,” said Lichtenstein. “Only by working together can we eradicate hatred and bias, which have no place in the Garden State.”
A December conference had long-time community leader and police liaison Rabbi Bernard Freilich, Teaneck Deputy Mayor Elie Katz, Rabbi Schnall, Meir Lichtenstein and other community leaders meeting with U.S. Attorney Sellinger and other members of his team in his Newark office. Addressing the ongoing safety concerns, Sellinger outlined actions he and his office’s civil rights division have undertaken to combat hate crimes and anti-Semitism in the Garden State.
“How fortunate we are to be living in a time and place where our religious freedoms are upheld and government officials take our concerns seriously,” noted Rabbi Freilich. “I commend U.S. Attorney Sellinger and his office for their continued efforts on behalf of all of New Jersey’s faith-based communities.
The recent gatherings came on the heels of a November meeting with FBI brass in the wake of a broad threat made against New Jersey Jewish institutions this past fall. Rabbi Friedman, who also serves as a Department of Justice chaplain, thanked the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness and federal prosecutors for their tough stance against anti-Semitism.
“Knowing that the individual who made those threats was apprehended swiftly and is now facing federal charges for his statements gives the entire Jewish community the ability to sleep at night,” said Rabbi Friedman. “We are grateful to law enforcement for their support and pray daily for their safety.”