Resolution Also Rejects Attempts to Justify Anti-Jewish Hatred
Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (Orthodox Union), the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, expressed its appreciation to New Jersey Assemblyman Gary S. Schaer (D-36) for his strong leadership in standing up for the Jewish community by introducing N.J. Assembly Res. 216, a resolution that condemns all forms of anti-Semitism and rejects attempts to justify anti-Jewish hatred.
The resolution, which Assemblyman Schaer brought forward this month, comes as anti-Jewish sentiment surges across the United States. It makes clear that the state of New Jersey will not tolerate bigotry and hate-motivated acts toward its citizens. It also defines the contours of anti-Semitism by addressing media and political campaigns with dangerous misinformation and calls out the dual-loyalty trope used to vilify American Jews. Further, the resolution provides a recent history of the rise of anti-Semitism in the United States and highlights New Jersey’s own troubling record of anti-Jewish incidents and attacks.
The Garden State logged 295 incidents of harassment, vandalism and assault during 2020, the third-highest rate for New Jersey and the United States in 41 years, according to a recent report. During the first quarter of 2020, just ahead of and during the start of the pandemic shutdown, there were 86 anti-Semitic incidents in New Jersey, compared to 52 recorded during the same period in 2019.
Overall, New Jersey had the second-highest number of anti-Jewish incidents in the country after New York. Among the worst attacks against Jews in recent U.S. history occurred in New Jersey in December 2019, when assailants shot and killed five people–including two Jews and a police officer—during an anti-Semitic rampage that ended in a kosher grocery store.
In addition to Assemblyman Schaer, whose district includes part of Bergen and Passaic counties, the Orthodox Union also thanks Assemblyman Anthony Verrelli (D-15) and Assemblywoman Carol Murphy (D-7) for their support of Res. 216. Assemblyman Verrelli’s district includes Hunterdon and Mercer counties; Assemblywoman Murphy represents Burlington County.
Said OU’s Director of State Political Affairs Dan Mitzner:
“New Jersey’s Jewish community, just like all other communities across the state, has the right to be safe and secure and protected against those who seek to do them harm. By shining a spotlight on anti-Jewish sentiment in America, Assemblyman Schaer and his colleagues have shown great leadership in standing up to anti-Semitism, especially at a time when hateful attacks against Jews have skyrocketed nationwide.”