CHERRY HILL, N.J. (CBS) – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez was in Cherry Hill Sunday night addressing threats to the Jewish Community Center there and at others across the country.
Menendez spoke to hundreds at Temple Beth Shalom synagogue, which is about a mile down the road from the Betty and Milton Katz Jewish Community Center, one of a many JCC’s targeted with antisemitism.
The Senator was there for a Middle East Conference, but also, “a reaffirmation of our support of the community and the right of every New Jerseyan, every American to be able to follow their faith and views without fear.”
He says he’s been doing everything he can to ensure safety.
“I’m calling upon the administration and the senate appropriations committee to double the amount of funding that exists under the Department of Homeland Security for nonprofit and religious institutions to help protect them,” Menendez said.
In the meantime, Menendez believes the community’s safety is in good hands.
“Our law enforcement has been fantastic. We don’t know when the threat is real, the bottom line is people have fear. Maybe we can’t eradicate hate from somebody’s heart, but we can send a societal message that we don’t tolerate it,” he said.
He says “we’re all in this together” and this hatred must stop:
“Whether you are a Sikh that wears a Turban, or a Hindu who wears a Bindi, or a Jew who wears a Star of David, our humanity is going to cast a light against the forces of darkness,” said Menendez.
Menendez is also very pleased with all the rallying and support the entire community has shown since these threats started.