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New Jersey community rallies around Temple Ner Tamid synagogue after Molotov cocktail attack

Bloomfield community gathers to support synagogue targeted in attack
Bloomfield community gathers to support synagogue targeted in attack 01:57

BLOOMFIELD, N.J. -- People from near and far showed up in droves at the New Jersey synagogue that was recently the target of an alleged bias attack.

It was a night of togetherness at Temple Ner Tamid in Bloomfield.

"It really feels good to see the outpouring of support," Rep. Mikie Sherril said.

People from different faiths, children, clergy, local and state officials gathered to denounce bias acts of violence.

"There's so much hate out there that we all have to be in solidarity, whether it's a synagogue or mosque or church," Montclair resident David Surrey said.

Every room inside the synagogue was filled to capacity.

"No matter what, we're always gonna stick together, and we're always going to come to each other's aid," Imam Kevin Amin said.

READ MORE: Nicholas Malindretos, accused of throwing Molotov cocktail at New Jersey synagogue, appears in court

Hundreds stood outside in near freezing temperatures in solidarity.

"We say no, and we must say no," Sen. Bob Menendez said.

While the community joins forces, detectives are still investigating Nicholas Malindretos' mental and emotional background after he allegedly tried to attack the synagogue with a Molotov cocktail over the weekend.

"We must continue to raise the issues around mental illness and de-stigmatize it for sure, but we also need to make sure we're protecting the right to religious freedom," Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake said.

Around 1,500 people showed up for Thursday night's vigil.

Menendez says he's working with colleagues to strengthen hate crime laws and increase nonprofit security grant funding to houses of worship.

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