Bloomfield, N.J. synagogue raises security after suspect threw Molotov cocktail at front door
BLOOMFIELD, N.J. -- Police in Bloomfield, New Jersey are on high alert after someone tried to light a synagogue on fire with a Molotov cocktail.
Newly-released surveillance video shows the masked man investigators said tried to burn down Temple Ner Tamid on Sunday morning.
It shows the suspect surveying his surroundings before lighting the device and tossing it at the front door of the synagogue. The bottle broke, but did not ignite.
The attack happened hours before 200 children were expected to arrive for religious classes.
"People are scared, especially parents who don't have the tools to talk to their kids," said Rabbi Marc Katz.
Mara Glick, a member of Temple Ner Tamid, said she had a tough conversation about hate with her two children.
"We go to temple to learn about how to be a good person and that we need to continue to do that and we have to keep our eyes wide open and we have to fight the good fight," said Glick.
The Essex County Prosecutor's Office, FBI and ATF are investigating the attempted arson. Additional officers were guarding the temple on Monday morning.
Katz said rises in hate crimes nationwide forced him to make security upgrades over the years, especially after the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh.
"At that point we realized that we were living in a different world and antisemitism was much more prevalent," said Katz.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, antisemitic attitudes are widespread and likely increasing. Eighty-five percent of Americans believe at least one anti-Jewish trope, the ADL said.
"I'm not scared. I'm not going to let them inflict fear. They're cowards, that's what they are," said Glick.
Katz said there will be an increased security presence at the synagogue all week.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Bloomfield Police Department Detective Bureau at 973-680-4084 or email email@example.com.
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