Governor Chris Christie joined national and local officials, advocates and community leaders at the Kaplen JCC to show solidarity with New Jersey's Jewish community following a recent increase in threats made against Jewish Community Centers throughout New Jersey and the country.
"It's a shame. It's very painful and we have to get together to go against it," said Bertha Muchnik. She felt a little more at ease heading into Temple Emanuel in Cherry Hill tonight after learning the Governor has ordered increased patrols at houses of worship, community centers and cemeteries around the state.
"We definitely think the security will help. It does help and the bad people who are thinking and seeing the security they will think twice whether they will do it or not," said Muchnik. The announcement came during a news conference today with the Attorney General, State Police and Homeland Security officials.
"The Jewish community's values are what keep the JCC’s doors open every day to Americans of all faiths and backgrounds so we will not let bigotry and harassment intimidate this community," said Senator Bob Menendez.
The increased patrols are a result of Jewish cemeteries being vandalized and community centers forced to evacuate because of threats.
It's happening all over the country including our area of New Jersey, Delaware and Philadelphia.
"We now have $10,000 rewards available for any leads that lead us to the violation of biased crimes and anyone in this state who commits that type of crime will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and sent to prison," said Governor Christie.
David Azrak isn't so sure the extra security will help and is deeply saddened by what's happened.
"It seems to be getting worse. I don't think it's going to help you know why? Because it's in people’s hearts. People hate," said Azrak.