West Orange police investigate after swastikas are drawn outside synagogue

WEST ORANGE, NJ — On Saturday, Dec. 18, at approximately 1:45 p.m., a jogger discovered three swastikas drawn on the sidewalk outside B’nai Shalom, a synagogue on Pleasant Valley Way. The West Orange Police Department immediately launched an investigation, which is still ongoing. It is believed that this is an isolated incident and the offensive symbols were quickly removed.

“In the strongest terms possible Mayor Robert D. Parisi, Council President Cindy Matute-Brown, Councilwoman Michelle Casalino, Councilwoman Susan McCartney, Councilman Bill Rutherford and Councilwoman Tammy Williams, along with the entire West Orange municipal government, stand resolute with all residents in denouncing the cowardly acts of hate perpetrated against our Jewish brothers and sisters,” a Dec. 19 statement from the township read. “Acts of antisemitism or bias attacks against any faction of our society, whether physical, verbal or symbolic will not be tolerated in West Orange.

“Such heinous and despicable actions against any one group or individual is considered an attack against us all and our deeply rooted community values,” the statement continued. “Neighborly love, unwavering unity and mutual respect will rule the day as West Orange will continue to set the standard in always recognizing cultural diversity as our impregnable strength. Those of our residents who bore witness to the Holocaust and the sacrifice of our World War II veterans are the enduring legacy of our fight against this specific bigotry today.”

Anyone with any information relating to this crime is urged to contact the West Orange Police Department at 973-325-4000.