State police reportedly found a grenade Sunday morning on a utility pole across the street from an ultra Orthodox synagogue in Lakewood, New Jersey.
Police shut down the area and called a bomb squad after determining the grenade looked real, The Lakewood Scoop reported. (RELATED: Mob Torches Historic Tunisian Synagogue)
“The threats against Jewish communities are insane,” Aviva Klompas, co-founder of Boundless, said on X. She also posted a photo of the grenade.
Someone strapped a grenade to a pole outside a synagogue in Lakewood, NJ.
The threats against Jewish communities are insane. pic.twitter.com/3N7vdLMRqg
— Aviva Klompas (@AvivaKlompas) November 19, 2023
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer later told the outlet the grenade was genuine but “inert and nonexplosive.”
“There is no danger to the public, and this remains an active and ongoing investigation,” Billhimer told the outlet.
Lakewood is home to a major Jewish community. The ultra-Orthodox community alone accounts for 15 percent of the town’s population, Nj.com reported back in 2017. About two thirds of the over 100,000 residents of the town are Orthodox Jews, the outlet noted in 2018.
UPDATE ON GRENADE IN LAKEWOOD:
– Police were notified shortly before 8:00 AM about a grenade strapped to a utility pole across the street from a synagogue in Lakewood
– Upon arrival, police determined the grenade appeared real, and called for bomb squad
– The NJSP removed the… pic.twitter.com/r2fw7UxUub
— The Lakewood Scoop (@LakewoodScoop) November 19, 2023
New Jersey as a state is host to the third largest Jewish community in the United States, the Gateway Center for Israel reported.
There has been a rising tide of antisemitism following Hamas’ invasion of southern Israel on Oct. 7 and the ensuing Israel-Hamas War in the Gaza Strip.
Data from the New York Police Department (NYPD) shows antisemitic attacks have risen over 300 percent in the Empire City in the month of October alone. France’s interior minister mentioned Nov. 7 over 1,000 antisemitic attacks have taken place in his country since the outbreak of the war.
In Germany, a synagogue was firebombed on Oct. 18.