NEWARK — The FBI says it has received credible information about a broad threat to synagogues in New Jersey.

"The FBI has received credible information of a broad threat to synagogues in NJ. We ask at this time that you take all security precautions to protect your community and facility," the message said.

"We are taking a proactive measure with this warning while investigative processes are carried out," the FBI said.

The FBI did not disclose a specific threat or location. ABC News, citing unnamed law enforcement sources, said it was not a bomb threat.

Attorney General Matt Platkin said law enforcement statewide will be increasing patrols in "sensitive areas" in both marked and unmarked vehicles.

"Please do not be alarmed if you observe an increase in police presence as we are taking these steps in an abundance of caution. We also call upon New Jersey residents to be extra vigilant and if you see suspicious activity please report it to your local authorities without delay. We continue to work together to keep New Jersey safe, and let those who would bring harm to the residents of this State know that New Jersey will not be home to hate, intolerance or violence," Platkin said.

"ADL of New York/New Jersey is working with @FBINewark as they mobilize to address this credible threat. We advise that synagogues and other Jewish organizations remain calm and in heightened state of alert," Anti-Defmation League Regional Director Scott Richman said.

Rabbi David Levy, Director of the American Jewish Committee didn't have any additional information about the threat or what's behind them.

“We are deeply grateful for the focus of law enforcement on securing the Jewish community. This is very disturbing. We are deeply alarmed by these reports," Levy said.

"We live in a time of rising anti-Semitism in a time when we've seen the impact of violent anti-Semitism. Synagogues have had to put together security plans for situations like this and those things are being put into play," Levy said.

Levy said synagogues are the center of the Jewish spiritual community and it's disturbing threats are being made against places where people go for sanctuary.

Max & Florence Warner Jewish Community Center in Bradley Beach
Max & Florence Warner Jewish Community Center in Bradley Beach (Bud McCormick)

Increased police presence

Ocean County Sheriff Mike Mastronardy said that police presence is being increased in Lakewood, which has the largest Jewish population in the state, and around the county. He said he is not aware of a specific threat to a facility in the county.

"Lakewood Police Department along with assistance from the Ocean County Sheriffs Department has increased patrols, in both a marked and unmarked capacity. In addition, we have also deployed specially trained rapid response officers. Although there isn't any specific information pertaining to Lakewood, we are in communication with our local, county and federal counterparts in order to ensure the greatest protection to those we serve," Lakewood Police Capt. Gregory Staffordsmith said.

"We're taking the necessary precautions to increase our security around our two synagogues," Bradley Beach Police Chief Leonard Guida told New Jersey 101.5. "I'm coordinating with the rabbis."

Levy advised people to be alert and aware and to heed the advice of "if you see something say something."

"You're not going to get in trouble for something you're not sure about. Let law enforcement figure out if it's something worth taking a count of," Levy said. "You may hear someone in your co-hort say something that is anti-Semitic or hateful. People often want to just let it go. If we don't speak out this toxic hate just builds upon itself."

This is a breaking story. Check back for additional details.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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