An early morning fire at a synagogue in northern New Jersey was caused by several Molotov cocktails and other incendiary devices thrown through a second-floor window, Bergen County's prosecutor said Wednesday.
Prosecutor John Molinelli said the incident is being investigated as an attempted murder and bias-related arson. Molinelli said lit aerosol cans also were used in the attack.
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Rabbi Nosson Schuman said that he saw a flash of fire outside his bedroom window before his bedspread caught fire. The rabbi said he got his wife and five children out of the building safely.
Schuman suffered slight burns but no one else was hurt.
Within the last three weeks, a fire was intentionally set at a synagogue in Paramus and anti-Semitic graffiti was discovered at synagogues in Hackensack and Maywood.
Law enforcement and representatives from more than 80 synagogues and Jewish day schools had been scheduled to discuss the incidents on Thursday.
The synagogues in Maywood and Hackensack are about a mile apart. The other two are within about seven miles of each other in Bergen County, just across the Hudson River from New York City and near the Meadowlands sports complex.
According to JTA, Congressman Steve Rothman, who represents Bergen County in the House of Representatives, urged the FBI and the US Attorney’s Office assist the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and Rutherford Police Department in solving the case..
"This is not Damascus or Baghdad," he said. "Residential communities, like those here in New Jersey, should never be attacked."
AP contributed to this report
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