A couple of weeks back, as reported here,
the Monmouth Heights community of Manalapan was scarred by the spray painting of swastikas on fences, cars, and stop signs in the community, along with messages of hate directed at the Jewish community.

At the time, I asked my “Late Show” audience if this could have been the act of a group of kids; and if so, what should be done about it?

Answers were varied; but I think one thing stood out and that was if this was indeed a “youthful prank” then it needed to be dealt with seriously given the nature of the act.


However, according to this reportthe community reaction is to treat it as a verifiable hate crime.

Law enforcement authorities are still investigating what one member of the Manalapan Township Committee termed a “hate crime” during the governing body’s regular meeting on Sept. 12.

No arrests in the vandalism case had been made as of the evening of Sept. 12, according to Manalapan Police Chief Chris Marsala. Municipal officials said the incident remains under investigation by the Manalapan Police Department, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and by a federal agency which they did not name.

Committeeman Ryan Green said, “I consider these acts to be a hate crime, and there are no words strong enough to convey how appalling and despicable this incident is.
We are a community in Manalapan and hate crimes will not be tolerated under any circumstance. Our diversity is our strength and it is something we celebrate.”

During the public comment portion of the meeting, George Spodak, a former mayor and member of the Township Committee, reminded the committee that 28 years ago, in the fall of 1984, a bias crime was committed against Temple Beth Shalom in Manalapan. In that incident, a bulldozer was driven into a wall of the synagogue and anti-Semitic statements were painted on the temple.

Spodak said he called for a Solidarity Day in Monmouth that was held on Nov. 4, 1984. He said a large turnout of people from around the county turned out for the event and marched from Manalapan High School to the synagogue on Freehold-Englishtown Road (Route 522).

Spodak said public officials must condemn acts such as the Sept. 6 vandalism in Monmouth Heights in the strongest possible terms.

For me personally, this November marks 25 years of me being a member of the Manalapan community, and I echo the sentiments of Committeeman Green in saying, “…. Our diversity is our strength and it is something we celebrate.”

I’m ashamed to say that this happened here  but if these are kids solely out to get a rise out of our neighbors, a kick in the ass won’t suffice!

If the Manalapan anti-semitic vandalism was caused by kids, how would you deal with them?