Conservative Movement on Deadly Attack in Jersey City, Increase in Anti-Semitic Incidents

December 12, 2019

New York, NY – On December 10, 2019, two domestic terrorists murdered a police detective and opened fire on a kosher grocery store in Jersey City, New Jersey, killing three civilians and wounding several others. This incident follows recent polling by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and American Jewish Committee (AJC) that shows anti-Semitism is on the rise both domestically and globally.

According to the American Jewish Committee’s 2019 Survey of American Jewish Attitudes about anti-Semitism, 42 percent of American Jews feel fundamentally less safe compared to a year ago. The Global Survey on Anti-Semitism by the Anti-Defamation League revealed hateful, anti-Semitic rhetoric is growing in Eastern and Central European and nearly one in four Europeans maintain anti-Semitic beliefs. Both surveys highlighted an exponential increase in violent attacks against Jews in different parts of the world. The Conservative movement of American Judaism issued the following joint statement:

“The uptick in anti-Semitic instances recorded by the ADL and AJC follows a series of shocking attacks around New York and New Jersey. This week, domestic terrorists murdered Police Detective Joseph Seals, 39, and stormed a kosher market in Jersey City, killing Mindy Ferencz, 31, Moshe Deutsch, 24, both members of the local Orthodox Jewish community, and Douglas ‘Miguel’ Rodriguez, 49. That follows a recent attack in Rockland County where a 29-year-old Orthodox man and father of four young children was stabbed multiple times on his walk to synagogue for morning prayers. In Brooklyn, vandals threw bricks through the window of a Hasidic girls’ school in Crown Heights; and in Borough Park, at least three identifiably Orthodox men were assaulted and others had eggs thrown at them. There have also been countless anti-Semitic attacks worldwide, including a live-streamed terrorist attack on a synagogue on Yom Kippur in eastern Germany.

“As rabbis and Jewish leaders, we stand for tolerance, inclusion, and peace. We pray that our brothers and sisters live freely and openly, without fear of persecution. And we ask God to prevail upon those filled with hate and ignorance, so that they might sow seeds of growth and not sink into further violence.

“By condemning hate, we strive to fulfill the promise of Leviticus 19:17-18: ‘You shall not hate your brother in your heart; you shall rebuke your neighbor and not bear sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

“While it takes time to heal spiritually and emotionally from each attack, we must act now rather than later. One of the most important lessons that the Jewish people can teach the world is that an act of hate against one individual or one community is an act of hate against us all. We must redouble our efforts to fight prejudice and violence in all forms. We call for increased public awareness and scrutiny. We join with the worldwide Jewish community to stand in solidarity and pray for peace for the world.”

Rabbinical Assembly


Cantors Assembly

Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs
Jewish Educators Assembly

Jewish Youth Directors Association Masorti Movement



The North American Association of Synagogue Executives

Women’s League for Conservative Judaism

Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, American Jewish University