As we have noted on a number of previous occasions, we aspire to be a community that is a model for the nation in which people of different races, ethnic groups and backgrounds can interact, form friendships and participate fully in the community’s economic, political, civic, educational, and cultural life. This vision is threatened when any group is attacked. The Coalition feels this threat keenly in the shadow of the hateful anti-Semitic graffiti that was sprayed in our region’s beautiful public space, the South Mountain Reservation. We applaud the swift actions taken by residents who took quickly to social media; the County Parks Department, Sheriff Fontoura, and all who took quick action to remove the graffiti; and all the local and regional leaders who responded by condemning this act of hate and are working to find the perpetrators. While there is hate lurking among us that has been emboldened by the number of anti-Semitic incidents lately, we see hope in a community that rallies to support one another and advocates for change.
To read the statement from the elected leaders of Maplewood and South Orange, click on the link below.