Jersey officials seek heightened security for Jewish institutions

David Madden
January 23, 2020 - 9:01 pm
Congressman Donald Norcross.

David Madden/KYW Newsradio

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CHERRY HILL, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — Jewish officials addressed concerns by community members on Thursday regarding security and overall safety for Jews at South Jersey synagogues.

At a meeting at the Katz Jewish Community Center, officials agreed that hate against one group is hate against all. As a result, they say there are efforts to both beef up security at Jewish facilities and train people to better battle spikes in prejudice-based behavior.

“New Jersey consistently has the third most anti-Semitic incidents in the nation,” said Shira Goodman, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League. “That’s third, behind only New York and California. And last year, we tracked 200 anti-Semitic incidences in the state, which is 20% over the average.”

About $90 million in federal money is going toward securing nonprofit and religious buildings nationwide. Congressman Donald Norcross is sponsoring legislation to quadruple that next year, but the way the law is written somewhat isolates the allocation.

“The problem with the people and the institutions they represent in this room is none of that money is allocated to South Jersey,” he said. “Philadelphia controls it and keeps it on their side of the river.”

He’s working to change that, though money alone won’t solve the problem. ​