Following the discovery of anti-Semitic graffiti in South Mountain Reservation, and the recent waves of anti-Semitic threats against JCCs, Jewish schools and organizations nationwide, the mayors of West Orange and Livingston issued statements denouncing these acts.
“The hateful and pathetic act of perhaps one or two people does nothing to change the closeness and love known so well in our Livingston community at large. Acts like this help us to remember the importance of the love and inclusivity that we walk around with every day. The recent spate of racism and anti-Semitism in this country are a panicked last gasp from a marginalized group of people who foolishly fall back on that ideology,” said Livingston Mayor Shawn Klein.
West Orange Mayor Robert Parisi echoed that sentiment, saying, “The JCC is a big part of the West Orange community. We are an accepting and inclusive township and pride ourselves on our diversity. We reject such hurtful, bigoted antics as well as other acts of hostility, such as anti-Semitic graffiti discovered under a bridge at the reservation in neighboring South Orange on Monday. We take such hate crimes seriously and will not allow such actions to interfere with daily life in our township.”
The Village of South Orange coordinated with the Essex County Parks Department to ensure that the graffiti was removed, and the county has opened an investigation into the incident and increased uniformed and plainclothes patrols in the area.
South Mountain Reservation is located in Maplewood, Millburn and West Orange, and borders neighboring South Orange.