MANALAPAN, NEW JERSEY – Just 10 days before the High Holidays a New Jersey community woke up to find swastikas and anti-Jewish graffiti all over town.
The photographs show the images neighbors woke up to in Manalapan on Thursday morning — swastikas on street signs, mailboxes, a cable box and a sign saying “kill the Jews” on a picket fence, CBS 2’s Emily Smith reported Friday.
“I saw the commotion, swastika signs and ‘kill the Jews.’ I’ve been here 14 years, never seen anything like it,” resident Howard Weitz said.
At least 12 swastikas and other anti-Semitic symbols of hate appeared along Taylor Mills Road, a main residential street in town, and on several side streets, painted mostly in red.
Some believe the perpetrators did this to spread hate to the entire community. Western Monmouth County is home to tens of thousands of Jewish families served by several synagogues.
“I don’t know why that neighborhood in particular was targeted, but the whole area has been great for the Jewish community,” said Keith Krivitzky, executive director of the Jewish Federation.
Throughout Manalapan, N.J., swastikas were painted in red on mailboxes. signs and fences. (Photo: handout)
Krivitzky said he’s not sure who would do something like this.
“You don’t know. At the very least it’s a wake-up call and should be an educational opportunity to come together and say this isn’t tolerated, acceptable, not who we are and it isn’t welcome here,” Krivitzky said.
While most of the homes targeted belong to Jewish families, residents pointed out that anyone seeing a swastika anywhere should feel some pain and disgust — knowing it’s a message of hate and persecution.
The hate crime happened just one day after the Jewish Federation held a community-wide security preparedness training to help keep the High Holiday observances, a time of peace.