‘Kristalnacht’ In Highland Park, Man Arrested

November 30, 2011 2:03 pm 91 comments

One of the vandalized stores.

Highland Park, NJ – The sleepy Central-Jersey town of Highland Park, home to a large Jewish community, was on edge this afternoon in the wake of an overnight vandalism-spree.

The attacks appeared to be anti-Semitic in nature as all the businesses that were targeted have Jewish owners.

Shop-owners at two local kosher restaurants, two judaica stores and a Jewish-owned hardware store arrived at their places of business this morning to the site of broken windows that had apparently been smashed by bricks thrown through them.

Facebook rumors indicated that during two separate incidents, at least one individual made anti-Semitic remarks and threatened to launch a new “Kristalnacht” – a reference to the “night of broken glass” pogrom that occurred in Germany in 1938. One altercation occurred at the local kosher Dunkin Donuts where an individual allegedly threatened to return and attack “the Jews and their disgusting friends.” According to an eyewitness, the individual was escorted from the premises during his rant.

Another incident occurred during a regularly scheduled Highland Park Town Hall meeting where an individual allegedly made “virulently anti-Semitic remarks.” Highland Park recently elected an Orthodox Jewish man as its mayor. It is unclear at this time whether or not these incidents are related or if they are connected to last night’s vandalism. Nor is it clear if all the attacks were perpetrated by the same individual.

The scene in downtown Highland Park was one of disbelief as several local residents stopped in front of the targeted stores to take photographs of the incident. Locals business owners attempted to continue conducting business.

Speculation and concern over who was behind the incidents was pronounced as both the anniversary of the 1947 Partition Plan – observed by some as the “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” – occurred yesterday, and the anniversary of the original Kristalnacht was commemorated earlier in the month.

In another act of apparent anti-Semitic vandalism, the local Rutgers Hillel had a brick thrown through one of its windows over the weekend raising concern among students as anti-Israel and potentially anti-Semitic behavior on the Rutgers campus has recently been widespread.

At this time local law enforcement have been notified and are actively responding to these incidents. At the time of this post, details were still filtering in from local residents and no official statements have been made.

UPDATE: Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan has said that a 52 year old man named Richard Green was arrested in New Brunswick at 3pm, and charged with five counts of criminal mischief, for smashing the windows at the Highland Park stores.

Liran Kapoano is the East Coast Director for Jerusalem Online University, www.jerusalemonlineu.com.

Bricks were hurled through the windows of the Jewish owned stores.

Another vandalized Jewish owned store,

Vandalized Judaica store.

91 Comments

  • These people are sick who do this!! why would you ruin peoples business for no reason! they should be made to repair it or at least pay for the damage!

  • RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

    I was right all along. They are finally admitting that he is Jewish.
    http://njjewishnews.com/article/statewide/prosecutors-jewish-man-targeted-jewish-shops#.Tt_JXbLfU04

  • I wouldn’t get excited about one troubled individual who throws bricks through windows. But a Jewish Professor (not at Rutgers) Irving Kett says this: “During WWII I served as an ordinary infantry soldier in the U.S. Army. As a youngster born and raised in New York City, I was shocked at the extent and intensity of anti-Semitism that I was suddenly confronted with as a soldier.”
    That was in the 1940′s, and the climate for Jews got a lot better, but there are troubling trends:
    Some of you may remember a cell phone salesman named Ilan Halimi – for the crime of being Jewish, some Moslems grabbed him shrieking from his store, and tortured him for two weeks, and then doused him with gasoline and set him alight. When the French police found him, he was still alive – but then he died. If you can stand the details, read the Wikipedia entry. I have friends and relatives who are on the left, and they had better get wise to the trends in this country – with our ‘chain immigration’ system guaranteeing a huge population of Moslems in 10 years, and a strange alliance between radicals on the left and Moslems at demonstrations (even OWS).

  • Not a hate crime
    A mentally challenged soul
    Who needs help
    rabbi rosenberg

    Mr. Green is a poor Jewish male with a long history of mental illness., it is a shame that his religion and his serious mental illness are not made public. He needs help and perhaps there is a mental institution where he can get help. This is the second day that the media intentionally or unintentionally misinform people by omitting critical facts from the story. CHECK THIS OUT. RABBI ROSENBERG

    • Unfortunately, now that he has gone ahead and committed crimes and shown himself to be unstable and destructive, he will be in the “system” for significant time. RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

      • MCR wrote: from others media

        Rabbi Rosenberg’s comments are accurate. According to many sources, mysteriously not being reported by the media, the person under arrest is a Jewish man who has a history of mental health problems. One of the store owners told me he knows the man, and he even shopped in his store regularly.

  • >‘Kristalnacht’ In Highland Park, Man Arrested

    What a repulsive headline and absolute bastardization and belittling of not only history but of what real Antisemitism looks like.

    Kristalnacht was not one idiot or even a small group of idiots smashing windows and running away. It was the culmination of HUNDREDS OF YEARS (I know, some like to think the the Nazis invested the idea of killing Jews, sorry, they just modernized it) of society sponsored, endorsed and approved of hate. It was in the church, it was in the government, it was everywhere is Europe.

    When they smashed a window they stuck around to beat the owner and do other things too awful to mention.

    Hitler didn’t make speeches about hating Jews and then all the people looked at each other as if a light-bulb had gone off in their pinheads and suddenly they hated Jews! He said through a PA system what more than enough Germans were already thinking.

    The Nazis just threw a match, the fuel was already all over the place, if it hadn’t been them it would have been someone else.

    And to even suggest that America is anything close to that? Shows an ignorance that is break-taking.

    When cops are beating Jews in the street and people are just watching? Then maybe.

    When Jews just vanish and you go to the officials and ask them to investigate and they just look right through you? The maybe.

    When your property is taken by the state and given to non-Jews? Sure would look like it.

    But when you live in a nation that had a Jewish VP candidate? Where laws are crafted to ensure their protection? (If buddy was smashing those windows because they were Jewish owned than he’s going to get hit with hate crime stuff) That donates how many billions of dollars to the Jewish homeland?

    Not even close to Kristalnacht and hyperbole that is as useless and counter-productive as it is offensive.

    • Anna Kaminsky

      Yes – let us do what they did in Europe and stand by and watch until jews vanish and are beaten in the streets – “then maybe” we need to do something??
      you are a fool to think it is safe for you! – so why take notice? you may be next on their list

  • I am a homeowner in Highland Park who rents rooms and I’ve noticed that more and more of my applicants have names such as Muhammad and Fatima. I’ve also noticed how the Rutgers campus is becoming an increasingly uncomfortable place for Jews to be. America is importing anti-semitic refugees and Rutgers is accepting anti-semitic students. I can’t help but wonder if the money Rutgers accepted from countries such as Iran has something to do with this. We have a lot more to worry about than a kook throwing bricks.

    • This antisemitism is certainly alarming, however that Rutgers recruits many people of middle-eastern descent and that there was an attack on jewish people recently means nothing more than the fact that Rutgers is accepting more people of middle-eastern descent. There is a large, active, Israeli population at Rutgers, and the man in question was a) white, and b) too old to be a student. I appreciate the gravity of the situation for my Jewish peers (for whom persecution is a serious and very real threat) but a the same time it seems to me better to address the crimes of the individuals or anitsemitic groups, than to accuse Rutgers of accepting bribery from middle eastern nations. (Rutgers would not be able to take money from Iran, as it is a state school and the US is currently in an embargo with Iran).

      This attitude upsets me almost as much as the man throwing bricks: by grouping all students and patrons of the university you create more hate, causing more tensions. By calmly dealing with individual perpetrators, and raising sympathy by spreading awareness of Jewish history you actually combat the root of the issue tolerantly.

      Thanks for reading,
      Dmitropher

      • I didn’t make up the Iranian funding of Rutgers. It was in the New York Post. “An Islamic charity alleged to be a front for the Iranian regime has been funding anti-Israel and pro-Iran professors at Columbia and Rutgers Universities, the New York Post reported on Monday.”

        • Iran is only funding the professors favorable to itself – not the professors that are pro-Israel and likely not any of the Jewish professors. (And there are some Jewish Rutgers professors. I should know; I’m related to one of them.)

    • while the face america is changing, that IS america! please take a look at the history books and you will see this face always changing. that is what america is. we have always brought in new and varieties of people. this is racial profiling. it’s just as bad as those people who wouldn’t sell their homes to jews or anyone of color in the past because of what it would do to the neighborhood. throwing bricks at those doesn’t help us. it only hurts us. please consider being open minded, but also keep your eyes open to ANYONE who will harm another.

      • No we are bringing in anti-semites now. That is a fact. We are resettling Somalis and Kurds in the United States. We are importing hatred of Jews and not just of Jews. Here is one example of what I mean that was reported by the Council on Foreign Relations.
        “Mohamed Osman Mohamud. Somali-born, naturalized U.S. citizen Mohamud penned several articles for the online magazine Jihad Recollections in 2009, and U.S. authorities allege he attempted to connect with terrorists in Pakistan. In November 2010, police arrested Mohamud in Portland, OR, for trying to detonate what he believed to be a car bomb during a Christmas-tree lighting ceremony”
        There is no virtue in being tolerant of hatred and when you import it into this country you are importing intolerance. Europe has done that and look what has happened there.

        • While I understand that you are upset at this clear display of antisemitism, you cannot simply put blame on Rutgers, and you cannot put blame on Islamic religions. By classifying those groups your are equality being as racially prejudice. I understand you’re upset, and I am too. I don’t know why people cannot just leave each other alone, but calling out Islamic followers as scapegoats is exactly what people are doing to Jews. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    • You cannot seriously sit on your computer and believe that Rutgers has an anti-semetic agenda. Nor can you peg every citizen of the Arab world as middle east. Your argument has no basis and you sound ignorant and racist. For the point about Rutgers not being a comfortable place for Jews. Go to college ave one day maybe? See the Chabad house. See the many Jews tables in front of Brower and around College Ave. Rutgers does not care about race, religion, or creed. Neither does America. They invite students into their community who have the proper merits and the desire to learn more. Do not peg this on the Muslim commmunity as you can see that a 52 year old man named Richard Green was arrested. Safe to say that is a crazy old white man who believes that he’s living in 1930s Germany.

      • You should hold back on your accusations of ignorance and racism. It is always the racists that accuse others of racism and the ignorant who make accusations of ignorance. That is hate speech. As for ignorance I guarantee you I know a lot more than you do about what is going on at Rutgers. Here is an excerpt from a report from Worldnetdaily that might enlighten you.

        “The Zionist Organization of America is demanding that Rutgers University address an anti-Semitic atmosphere it has allowed on its campus, including threats by one person to “skin alive” a Jew.”

        They did not get cooperation from the Rutgers administration.

        • If there is an antisemitic atmosphere at my school, then it’s a problem. At Rutgers, which is a microcosm of the world, there are numerous people with antisemitic and philosemitic attitudes (that second term means “liker of Jews”). The upshot is that we see enormous counterprotests when the Westboro Baptist Church comes by to mouth off against Jews and gays, but we also see Muslim organizations calling for boycotts of Israel and other anti-Zionist measures. I am not sure if there’s an actual antisemitic atmosphere – after all, two synagogues* grace College Avenue and there are Jewish tenured professors – but there is certainly antisemitism underfoot, as the vandalism shows.

          *Yes, Hillel House and Chabad House both count. They have regularly used arks and prayer rooms, where services are conducted, and thus qualify as synagogues.

    • please don’t respond to racism with your own version of racism. the names and descent of Rutgers students has nothing to do with anything. The perpetrator was a 52 year old white man with a Jewish-sounding name.

      • Concern about Islam is not racism. Anyone who is not concerned about it is mad. Accusing people who are concerned about Islam of racism is unfair and it is hate speech. Israel is surrounded by Muslims who want to annihilate her. Is that a coincidence? Does it have nothing to do with Islam. You have to be insane to believe that. Is it racist to face the ugly truth. I suggest yout take a look at http://www.thereligionofpeace.com and ask yourself why Muslims are committing so many acts of violence all over the world against so many non-Muslims. When you accuse people who are concerned about this of racism you become a promoter of Islam and thus a promoter of an intolerant religion. Shame on you.

  • move to israel

    im making a aliya to israel, its more safer there with suicide bombing then here in america with the rise of nazi germany anti-semitisim, move to israel now, dont wait when its to late like our grandpaerents in euope when they cudnt leave anymore then they wanted to move… history repeats itself.

  • As for the solidarity bit: when will people learn that attacking individuals in their own community does nothing to advance any political cause? If anything, it does the exact opposite and makes things worse, so if this was the person’s motivation, that just makes me even angrier. I really, really hope that is not the case.

    I’m a non-Jewish Highland Park resident, and it puts me on edge for sure.

  • I totally agree with Jeff. I have been reading and absorbing a lt of what’s going on in the news and I feel that most Orthodox Jews are totally clueless because they do not watch television and many don’t even have Internet access, so they are unable to get their “finger on the pulse” of what’s going on, which I feel is quite dangerous. I recommend you go to the alternative news sites, such as http://www.infowars.com and read about the laws that have already been passed and the “continuity of government program” which has been planned, and for which events are currently underway to enable it. Does anyone really want to wait until they find themselves being carted off to a FEMA camp? I think Hashem (God) is trying to tell us something. Are we listening?

  • this is unbelievable. maybe it’s because the economy is bad.

  • Hopefully, this was just done by someone who lost his or her mind. In any case, we should all get together and walk together, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddists, Atheists and Agnostics and let the world know that we will not tolerate this type of behavior. Let’s set a date to say “No” to intolerance and bigotry.

    • Yes, I agree w. you.

    • i agree with you! let’s put a date on the calendar now. let’s unite as one and turn this negative into a positive. i am not trying to sound pollyanna’ish, but we need to show how we are all one people and fight as one. it doesn’t matter what God you pray to or how you pray to God, what you call God, if you believe in God or not or pray at all. we are all creations of God or some higher power. we need to remember that.

      in fighting will do us no good. calling people “riff raff” or “proPalestian” therefore they hate Jews doesn’t help anything. uniting and fighting against this madness is what helps. we all like to believe it can’t happen here. it can’t happen to us. it can. so long as become complacent it can. the Jews of Germany didn’t believe it could happen to theme either. i’m not saying this will lead to another holocaust, but it can be the beginning of spread of hate of Jews or any and all peoples.
      so let’s get that date on the calendar and be proactive.

    • Yes, we should all band together,John, and let the world know that we won’t tolerate this type of behavior.

      The problem is that there are many people in the world who promote and endorse this type of behavior……

    • ^^^^ this. This is the proper approach to fighting bigotry.

  • I propose we build a wall and keep the riff raff from New Brunswick out!

    • @Al R.:

      Why do you assume that the anti-semetic vandals are “riff raff” from New Brunswick?

      Who do you imagine constitutes the “riff raff” there?

      The kind of anti-semetism and ethnocentric violence visible in the property destruction in Highland Park could have come out of *any* racial/ethnic and class demographic in *any* neighborhood in New Jersey.

      It isn’t useful, nor does it promote social justice to further denigrate the disproportionately disenfranchised, impoverished residents of New Brunswick — most of whom (despite popular stereotypes) do *not* use violence to express their worldview.

      • The article states that a 52 year old man was arrested in New Brunswick. True…just because someone is from New Brunswick does not mean they are all riff raff. There could be riff raff living next door to any of us. New Brunswick is a beautiful city! A city made up of all shapes, sizes, colors, races, religions…etc. By the way, not everyone who lives in New Brunswick is “disproportionately disenfranchised” so…social_justice, I suggest you return to the lecture hall before you toss out those “Big Words”.

        • @Darla:

          Where, in my comment, did I state that “everyone” in New Brunswick is disproportionately disenfranchised?

          That’s right: Nowhere. I didn’t say that.

          I stated the FACT that New Brunswick is comprised of a disproportionate number of disenfranchised people — and those are the people I believe Al R. referred to when he used the term “riff raff” (again — that’s my subjective interpretation of his use of the term “riff-raff”).

          Your negative reaction to what you say are “Big Words” is noted. I don’t understand why it was necessary for you to resort to a personal attack. I didn’t/don’t use “Big Words” for the sake of using them. I chose the word “disproportionate” and “disenfranchised” because they are terms that describe a wide range of people, whose social identities and experiences of oppression are diverse.

  • my moms mother survived the holocaust. she remembers kristallnacht. when she saw this on tv, it reminded her of kristallnacht and got her very worried.

  • REGARDING HIGHLAND PARK

    Subject: Fwd: THE WORLD IS ON FIRE KRISTALLNACHT MESSAGE

    PLEASE SHARE WITH OTHERS AND PASS ALONG

    Subject: THE WORLD IS ON FIRE

    . RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZk3ynr_S-g&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL SEE WORLD ON FIRE VIDEO

  • THIS TIME WE FIGHT BACK. Not with violence, of course, but the HP community must insist that this is treated as a HATE CRIME and that when the perpetrator is/are found, he/they are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

    Anti-Semitic acts such as these are often expained away by stating that it was “just teenagers” or that they “had just been drinking” or “that they weren’t aware” of the severity of the crime. None of these are valid excuses.

    • So, some of you think we should just hold hands and show the world that these acts are “hurtful”. Saying that we can’t blame certain people just so that we could gain their respect. Marching with Christians, Muslims and athiests. This is whiney crap. Just put out a “just” warning and don’t ever think that the cops will help. Follow through with the warning. When the community hears or sees something, they should come together and confront the problem. Strength in numbers. Never Again! There are times when respectfullness should take the back seat.

    • Not to remind anyone about history, but doing nothing in Germany in the 1930s didn’t stop the anti-semetics there. And being pacifists didn’t help our ancestors in the concentration camps. A good majority of the Jews in Europe that weren’t in concentration camps survived by fighting in the resistance. Pacifism equals defeat.

  • Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa ….

    …they have pizza in Jerusalem?

  • I actually live in Highland Park and there are SO many police men! How in the world could something like this happen and no police were around?! I go out at night all the time at night and all I see are police men patrolling the streets. On Raritan Ave especially. Where were all the cops???

    • After 11-12 PM I often ride down totally deserted streets with no police to be seen; there aren’t so many police and it’s no surprise that someone could cause such damage without being seen.

      • That’s true but I have been in Highland Park many times and I have confirmed with my Jewish relatives that the stores aren’t so close together. That means there had to be some sort of a time gap between the events of vandalism. If in that time no one heard the shatters, or called the cops, or none of the cops saw, then I get it. Maybe there were a bunch of perpetrators whom each were outside of every store and coordinated via cellular phone when to go about the act, and then fled quickly from the scene before anyone knew what was flying.

    • Some cops are bigots as well, they were probably helping

      • Rheachel Smith

        Of course they could have been told to look the other way. Sound familiar? We really cannot sit here in complacency. Something must be done to stem this and if not then we must leave before it really is too late.
        Contact the White House the President if he plans to even comment on the rising anti-
        semitisim in this country or continue to extol the virtues of Islam.

      • Phil Goldwasser

        I know many of the police in Highland Park. I can tell you for certain that they were NOT helping. At that time there are not many police out unless they get a call. The avenue is almost totally business with very little residence, so it is very possible that no one heard any of the breaking windows.

      • Nah, you’re a moron sir.

  • Rabbi Dave Finkelstein

    I hope this act was perpetrated by a misguided individual as opposed to a new anti-semetic movement. I would like to see non- Jewish leaders in the community speak out against this terrible crime.Bricks through windows are usually the work of cowards.

  • This is absolutely horrible!! Everyone takes events such as these and completely ignores them or passes them off as “something else”….Yes, its true that the “actual” Kristalnacht was on a much greater scale, but this is how these kind of things start! It’s a new day and age, and it would be immensely difficult to completely reenact the events which took place in 1938, but this was definitely an act of antisemitism….and whose to say that it cant happen again and that such events won’t escalate?! People need to open they’re eyes and see whats ACTUALLY going on around us and not simply “dismiss” such events because “ehh, it could never happen again, and FOR SURE not in America…” This kind of thinking is faulty and such ignorance is PROOF that it CAN in fact happen again! Wake up people!

    • First of all, you don’t know that it was “definitely an act of antisemitism.” It probably was. Almost certainly was. But definitely? You have no idea.
      And assuming that it was, nobody is “dismissing” it. Nobody here thinks that the perpetrators shouldn’t be sought out, arrested, and held accountable for their actions. But it is absurd to think that any hate crime against Jews is a harbinger of a 2nd Holocaust (just like it is absurd to think that any hate crime against an African-American is a harbinger of the revival of slavery or that any hate crime against a Japanese-American is a harbinger of the restoration of Japanese internment camps.)
      The Holocaust was a sui generic event in both Jewish history and world history. All violence is not like all other violence. Every anti-semitic act is not like every other anti-semitic act. To think otherwise and to do so by dressing up every anti-semitic act with Holocaust rhetoric is to aid those who downplay the significance of the Holocaust.

      • This not a second holocaust but is much similar to past events in some way, enough so that the author titled it about “‘Kristalnacht’ In Highland Park”. This also’s not any antisemitic act but one that look like something close to the holocaust time.

  • isolated lunatic or some pro-Palestinian Rutgers student.This is America,our neighbors are as appalled as we are,and there is no reason for paranoia or immature generalizations.Lets clean-up the mess,find and arrest the miscreant,become a little more vigilant and move on.

    • Pro Palestinian does no equate to antisemitism.

      • does not? you make it sound like an absolute – instead, you should state it can…

      • Thank you, Simon —

        while I believe the vandalism is very likely anti-Semitic — assuming that the vandalism was committed by a “pro-Palestinian Rutgers student” mobilizes a destructive, neo-imperialist, ethnocentric stereotype as a response to a series of acts that may have also been motivated by destructive stereotypes.

        Not useful.

        No one ethnic, racial or cultural group has a monopoly on anti-Semitism.

  • The use of the term “Kristallnacht” (whether or not it was used by the perpetrators), is frankly insulting to the legacy of the Shoah and those who endured it. As a grandchild of survivors who saw their entire families wiped out, I am offended at the cloaking of this incident using Holocaust language and imagery. One had nothing to do and could never come close to comparing to the other. Kindly revise your headline.

    • Av, I am also the grandchild of four Holocaust survivors who each lost all their families. My great grandparents were actually affected by Kristalnacht and i do find this headline appropriate as “Kristalnacht” literally means “night of broken glass”. Obviously this is a much smaller scale, but that is how violence starts and i do not think that this event should be belittled at all.

      • Nobody is “belittling” it. According to your literal interpretation, every night that I drop a glass in my kitchen is also “Kristallnacht.”

        • it’s the symbolism behind the event that matters – in this case and in the case of the Holocaust, that symbolism is marked my anti-semitism…

    • The title is appropriate. This is how it all starts. When Hitler took power, his party represented only very small minority among Germans (less than 10% I think) We should not look away, as acts of Antisemitism are on the rise and Antisemitism is back in vogue again. American Jews have been rather safe and grew a bit complacent. I grew up with virulent Antisemitism in Russia, and yes I am a child of survivors ( but than so were all Jewish kids from where I am from) and most important of all I am a child of the people who fought and never forgot whom they fought and why. “Never again” cannot just be a slogan we teach our kids at school. My mother always has been upset how quite Jewish community is about these events. In Toronto, the Jews were driven out of Hillel meeting by rock throwing Arabs, the police just escorted the Jews out of the back door. We heard no loud condemnations from the Jewish community at large. That is all American and Canadian Jews do, look the other way.

  • Clearly the community must stand together.Our community has always been known to stand together when there is tragedy.The community leaders need to show Achdus/unity among all congregations and schools with in the community, regardless of any tragedy’s that take place.I also believe that the time has come to start a watch group or SHOMRIM as its called in NY.We are under attack and need to stand strong as a community regardless of black hat, modern orthodox,conservative and reform WE ARE ALL JEWS ANS WE ARE ALL BEING THREATENED.RABBIS AND COMMUNITY LEADERS MUST STAND TOGETHER AND FIGHT.

    • Amen as well. And this achdus should be among all Jewish communities, even if some of them have trayfe banquets every once in a while. Standing against antisemitism is bigger than worrying about whether shrimp or ham shows up at somebody’s party or whether someone’s playing the piano on Shabbat.

  • While an appalling and terrible act, I’m not sure how beneficial it is to label this as “Kristalnacht”. It may very well be an anti-semitic attack (which I assume it was, unless discovered otherwise), equating this to Kristalnacht is inflammatory and minimizes the significance of the actual events of Kristalnacht, where hundreds of people were killed, almost 1,700 synagogues, and hundreds of Jewish businesses and houses were burned, and thousands of people were rounded up and sent to concentration camps.

    We should be able to draw attention to matters like this without relating it back to the holocaust. It’s a terrible incident that deserves its own attention.

    • not a rabbi, but still smart

      i agree with you susie. i have heard that the person who may have committed this crime said (or shouted) something in the dunkin donuts about bringing a “second kristallnacht to highland park,” which could be why they have used this term, but otherwise i think it is totally inappropriate.

    • I completely agree Susie, another issue in relating anti antisemitism to the Holocaust is that it implies that the holocaust is the root of antisemitism. Hate for Jews is not unique to 1930-40s europe, rather it is a prevalent issue that we must be aware of today and that has always been present throughout Jewish history regardless of location or religious affiliation.
      am yisrael chai.

    • How ignorant it is to make such a comment. Kristalnacht was a night in which Jewish businesses were targeted, destroyed, and broken into. The businesses were targeted in an attempt to destroy Jewish livelihood and to crack the Jewish community. Furthermore, Kristalnacht literally means “the night of broken glass” because all the store fronts’ glasses were shattered in acts of destruction. This reference is completely appropriate. Those who is ignore history are bound to repeat it.

      • I associate Kristallnacht not only with the Holocaust but also with Orson Welles’ infamous broadcast (which happened about a couple of weeks earlier – or was it a week and a half?). One was a pogrom, the other was a panic. Both were driven by fear and hatred, and both gathered steam because of charisma and believability of someone’s lies. The Germans were led to believe that there was a vast Jewish plot; the Americans to believe that beings were coming in from Mars to take over the world (or some foreign country was doing the same to America and with weird engines of war, too). The fact that Nazis and Japanese military folks were acting increasingly belligerent at the time didn’t help matters, either. But both Kristallnacht and the War of the Worlds panic serve as a cautionary tale: one of the biggest things to fear is fear itself. (Or hate, for that matter.)

  • not a rabbi, but still smart

    rabbi – i agree with your first sentence.

    your second one, though, i think has nothing to do with this. i dont think that the egyptian muslim brotherhood concerns itself with america’s economic crisis or is motivated by it to “kill all the jews.” they hate the jews for other reasons, and they probably hate america as well for those same reasons, but i doubt they would bother just smashing windows in a small town.

    connecting this incident to a group of muslims is a bit presumptuous. i think jewish americans have much more reason to fear from american white supremacists than muslims.

    • Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg

      I agree with what you said. I didn’t mean to imply that there was any connection between the events of last night and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. I just wanted to alert the readers that I put out a video on Youtube informing the Jewish community of the statement that was made by this group. As Chaplain for the Township of Edison, I have made certain through the Chief of Police that patrols have been increased. The same holds true for Highland Park. Two years ago, there were swastikas on my Synagogue building. These incidents need to be taken seriously.

      • not a rabbi, but still smart

        absolutely. i agree.

      • A township has a chaplain? Does nobody believe in the separation of Church and State? Or do we just speak up when it’s the Ten Commandments on a state capital’s lawn?
        I’m sure you’re a very good city township chaplain. I just don’t think there should be a township chaplain – of any religion.

  • News or rumors? While I deplore the attacks on these businesses, you need to get your facts straight when you report on something. First, it is a stretch to say the town is “on-edge” due to this vandalism. Home to a large Jewish community? Check your facts. While Highland Park/South Edison may have a larger than average Orthodox Community, overall, Highland Park is about on par with the rest of the State. Reform, Conservative, and “Just Jewish” are lower on average than the rest of the State. http://njjewishnews.com/njjn.com/012209/sxDemographerCompletesSurvey.html
    And then, “Facebook rumors indicate…” Come on. If I was to believe Facebook rumors, I would believe Justin Beiber was dead, that all of my information was not secure, and that the world would truly end about two months ago.
    Finally, I was at the Town Hall Meeting last night (Not a regularly scheduled event) that was related to a Charter School application. At no time did I hear “virulently anti-Semitic remarks.”

    • If you follow on facebook, People in highland park are definetly on edge.

      Is there a description of the person who made the remarks in Dunkin?

      • not a rabbi, but still smart

        i have heard from somebody that this may be the act of a mentally unstable middle-aged Jewish guy with nazi tendencies. sounds strange, but not unbelievable.

    • its not just news and rumors anymore it actually happened look at the pix i know the eye witness firsthand who was in the dd at the time. and regardless of the population size the highland park/edison jewish comunity is a large part of their resective towns and just the fact that and anti semetic crime was commited speaks volumes it makes no diffrence were it took place

    • I’m confused at the “on par with the rest of the state” – perhaps with people that identify themselves as Jewish but the thing about Highland Park is that it is very visible that many of the residents are Jewish.

      I’m not Jewish myself but when I moved from North Brunswick to Highland Park, it was a culture shock to me (then again I’m originally from a dinky town in Ohio so anything Jewish I find new and interesting). I had no idea what all these little huts in people’s yards and driveways were in the fall until my friend told me, I don’t think there’s that many other NJ communities that display their Jewishness as well as Highland Park does.

      Either way, it makes me truly sad when a community that’s as seemingly open minded as the one I now happily call home is scarred by hate like this.

    • Phil Goldwasser

      I don’t see how Highland Park is on par with the rest of the state? Highland Park is around 40% Jewish. With 8.7 million people in NJ, that would mean that the Jewish population of NJ is about 3.4 million! I wish!

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bl9ar-_Xpqg

    I have been warning the Jewish community throughout America that during times of economic crisis, Anti Semitism raises with ugly head. The Egyptian Muslim brotherhood came out with a statement, “Kill all the Jews”.

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