North Jersey Rabbis discuss security, anti-Semitism

Public Safety. U.S. Rep Gottheimer this week met with North Jersey Rabbis to discuss the relation between democracy and freedom from

29 Nov 2019 | 12:04

U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) on Wednesday met with the North Jersey Board of Rabbis to discuss how to best stop the rising tide of anti-Semitism and hate around the world, and in North Jersey.

“I believe strongly that the bond between the United States and Israel will always be unbreakable. But, as ever, preserving that historic bond takes work. We must remind everyone that Israel’s security is key to America’s security – to our democracy and to our fight against terror. So, you have my word that I will do everything I can in Congress to make sure that these issues will remain a bipartisan priority,” U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) told the group today. “In addition, I know we all feel the pot of anger and division are at a boiling point. We are witnessing rising anti-Semitism around the world. That’s one reason my office has been focused on helping to protect our synagogues, yeshivas, and Jewish Community Centers through the Department of Homeland Security’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which provide security investment for certain tax-exempt organizations that are at risk of a terrorist attack from homegrown and lone-wolf, ISIS-inspired terrorists. Safety and security in our places of worship are the bedrock of the American idea and we must do everything we can to protect them.”

“I’m concerned with anti-Semitism and appreciate the Congressman’s efforts in helping the needs of our Jewish institutions in the area, and raising the consciousness of others in our government on the dangers of hatred,” said Rabbi David Fine of Temple Israel, Ridgewood.

Joining Gottheimer at the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey were Jason Shames, CEO of Jewish Federations of Northern New Jersey; Rabbi Rachel Steiner of Barnert Temple, Franklin Lakes; Rabbi Ziona Zelazo of Valley Hospital, Ridgewood; Rabbi Bob Mark of the Clifton Jewish Center; Rabbi Randy Mark of Shomrei Torah, Wayne; Rabbi Steven Sirbu of Temple Emeth, Teaneck; Rabbi David Seth Kirshner of Emanu-El, Closter; Rabbi Arthur Weiner of the Jewish Community Center of Paramus; and Rabbi David Fine of Temple Israel, Ridgewood.

In Congress, Gottheimer recently introduced H.Res. 727, a bipartisan House Resolution condemning terrorist rocket attacks on Israel and supporting Israel’s right to defend itself, with Congressman Lee Zeldin (NY-1).

Gottheimer has also introduced bipartisan legislation -- the U.S.-Israel Anti-Killer Drone Act -- with Congressman Anthony Gonzalez (OH-16) to boost cooperation between the United States and Israel in developing technology to counter 'killer drones' amid the ongoing drone war in the Middle East. This bill helps fill gaps identified by the U.S. Department of Defense by authorizing cooperative projects intended to thwart small unmanned aerial systems that threaten the U.S. and Israel.