Reward raised for suspect in

Rumson synagogue hate crime

RUMSON — There is now a $10,000 reward posted for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for defacing a Rumson synagogue last month with anti-Semitic graffiti.

On Feb. 22 a congregant of B’nai Israel, Ridge Road, discovered swastikas spray painted on the building.

Two swastikas were discovered spray painted in white on the doors leading to the temple’s gym. The word "die" was also spray painted beneath the door.

Another swastika, this one in blue, was discovered on the sidewalk in front of the gym area.

Police have labeled the graffiti a bias incident and are still investigating the crime with the Bias Crime Unit of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.

A week after the bias incident, the Jewish War Veterans posted a $1,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of those responsible. Last week the congregation upped that amount by $9,000.

"Of course we abhor the incident," said congregation President Dale Daniels. "It is a painful reminder of anti-Semitism in our community."

Daniels said that of the congregation’s 550 families, the majority of whom are from Rumson, Fair Haven, Little Silver and Middletown, most have at least one member who was in the Holocaust.

This is not the first time the congregation has been the victim of anti-Semitic graffiti.

In 1991 someone painted "Hitler rules" and swastikas on the front of the temple.

Daniels said she hopes schools in the area will use this incident as a reminder for the need to teach tolerance. She noted that the Center for Holocaust Studies at Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, which offers educational services to the area.