The US Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a statement Thursday saying it was aware of a “broad threat” to synagogues across New Jersey.

“The FBI has received credible information of a broad threat to synagogues in NJ,” the security agency tweeted. “We ask at this time that you take all security precautions to protect your community and facility. We will share more information as soon as we can. Stay alert.”

The law enforcement agency added that it was “taking a proactive measure with this warning while investigative processes are carried out.”

The Orthodox Union umbrella group tweeted immediately that it was “speaking with FBI and communicating to shuls about this right now,” using the common Yiddish vernacular for a synagogue.

New Jersey is home to an estimated 500,000 Jews, with major Orthodox population hubs in Lakewood, Passaic, Toms River and Teaneck, and congregations of all denominations in most cities and towns across the state.

The American Jewish Committee said it was “deeply alarmed” by the FBI warning and would “continue to monitor the situation as it develops.”

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said he had been in touch with the FBI’s field office in Newark, New Jersey as well as the state’s attorney general and its homeland security office.

“We are closely monitoring the situation and are working with local law enforcement to ensure that all houses of worship are protected,” Murphy said.

New Jersey Congresswoman Rep. Mikie Sherrill tweeted: “We cannot stand for the rise of antisemitism in New Jersey and across the nation — threats against our Jewish community are absolutely unacceptable and have no place in our community. Please stay vigilant and take care of each other as the FBI continues to investigate.”

The Anti-Defamation League said it was working with the FBI to “mobilize to address this credible threat. We advise that synagogues and other Jewish organizations remain calm and in heightened state of alert.”

New Jersey has seen one of the worst antisemitic attacks in recent years, when two attackers opened fire in a kosher supermarket in Jersey City in 2019, killing the Jewish owner and a Jewish customer as well as a store employee.

The attacker was a member of the Black Hebrew Israelites, a group that espouses antisemitic ideas and believes Jewish people are imposters who have attempted to replace Black people as the real Israelites.

Antisemitism has been once again in the headlines in the United States in recent weeks, in particular after a series of antisemitic statements by rapper Kanye West.

Some of West’s statements have mirrored ideas that are common among Black Hebrew Israelites. While the rapper has been widely condemned and dropped by most of his sponsors and collaborators, some individuals mounted public defenses in Los Angeles and Florida, worrying local Jewish groups.

There have been multiple attacks on synagogues in the United States in recent years, including the 2018 shooting at the Tree of Life congregation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which killed 11 people — the deadliest attack ever on the Jewish community in the United States.

In 2019 a gunman attacked the Chabad of Poway in California, killing one woman, and earlier this year a man took congregants hostage at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas.

The Jewish Federations of North American umbrella group announced earlier this week that the number of Jewish communities with comprehensive security programs has increased by 42% over the past year, from 45 to 64 since it launched its $130 million LiveSecure initiative.

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FBI warns of ‘broad threat’ to synagogues in New Jersey

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04.11.2022

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a statement Thursday saying it was aware of a “broad threat” to synagogues across New Jersey.

“The FBI has received credible information of a broad threat to synagogues in NJ,” the security agency tweeted. “We ask at this time that you take all security precautions to protect your community and facility. We will share more information as soon as we can. Stay alert.”

The law enforcement agency added that it was “taking a proactive measure with this warning while investigative processes are carried out.”

The Orthodox Union umbrella group tweeted immediately that it was “speaking with FBI and communicating to shuls about this right now,” using the common Yiddish vernacular for a synagogue.

New Jersey is home to an estimated 500,000 Jews, with major Orthodox population hubs in Lakewood, Passaic, Toms River and Teaneck, and congregations of all denominations in most cities and towns across the state.

The American Jewish Committee said it was “deeply alarmed” by the FBI warning and would “continue to monitor the situation as it develops.”

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said........

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