Friday, February 28, 2020

It is with deep sadness that we go to press on Wednesday evening, after a terrible two days for the New Jersey Jewish community. The nightmare in Jersey City has affected us all. But there is one spot of bright light: We acknowledge the heroic, impossible work of our law enforcement. As Jersey City’s small but growing Jewish enclave was under violent attack, no fewer than 20 law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, the ATF, the NYC Bomb Squad and every municipality surrounding the city responded, with agents running toward a dangerous bullet-ridden war zone from which any average person would run. 

We will never forget the pictures, forever burned in our memories, of the brave responses of these men and women.  

We are heartbroken at the loss of life inside Jersey City Kosher, and the loss of an honorable detective’s life outside the building.  

Jersey City’s Det. Joseph Seals, a 40-year-old father of five, was a member of the city’s Cease Fire unit. According to Police Chief Michael Kelly, everyone in the department knew him “because he was a good cop.” We extend our deepest condolences to his family and brave colleagues. 

We mourn 33-year-old Leah Mindel Ferenz, H”YD, of Jersey City, 24-year-old Moshe Hersch Deutch, H”YD, of Williamsburg, and Miguel Gonzalez, 49, an employee at the store. May the mourners be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem, and may Hashem avenge their blood. 

We also thank Gov. Phil Murphy and Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, who were both on the scene on Tuesday evening. These two men are important, true friends of the Jewish community and we know that, for them, hate has no home in New Jersey. We will work with them, and others, in the coming weeks and months, no doubt, to make sense of this incident and look toward the future. 

Baruch Dayan Haemet. 

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