December 11, 2019
1:30 p.m. (CST)
Minneapolis, MN – Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement:
“The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) is horrified by yesterday’s deadly antisemitic attack at a kosher market in Jersey City, NJ. While the exact details of the shooting are not fully available, The New York Times is reporting that one of the assailants involved in the shooting ‘published anti-Semitic and anti-police posts online and investigators believe the attack was motivated by those sentiments, a law enforcement official familiar with the case said on Wednesday.’ The New York Times is also reporting that the assailants are affiliated with a hate group designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center known as the Black Hebrew Israelites, who have no connection to the Jewish community.
“We mourn the loss of Jersey City Police Detective Joe Seals, Mindel Ferencz, Moshe Deutch, and a fourth victim who has yet to be named. We appreciate and commend the swift response of law enforcement to this horrific incident and wish those officers who were wounded a speedy and full recovery.
“Following the gruesome acts of violence in Pittsburgh and Poway, the shooting in Jersey City marks the third time in less than 14 months that there has been a violent attack on a Jewish institution in the United States for the sole purpose of murdering Jewish people in the United States. These attacks intend to cause fear and terrorize Jews in our communities.
“The New York Times reports that ‘[Jersey City Mayor Steven] Fulop said on Wednesday that [camera] footage revealed that after the assailants shot [Jersey City Police Detective Joe] Seals in an earlier encounter, they drove slowly and deliberately to the market, roughly a mile away. The perpetrators stopped in front of there and calmly opened the door with two long rifles,’ added Mayor Fulop. ‘Both [Mayor] Fulop and Jersey City’s public safety director, James Shea, said that after the attackers left the van, they walked past others on the street and aimed at people inside the kosher supermarket.’
“The JCRC continues to communicate with local, state, and federal law enforcement as it pertains to Jewish and other vulnerable communities in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The JCRC will continue to update local Jewish organizations with information about this incident and fulfill its mission of organizing and enhancing Jewish community security.”
As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community since 1939, the JCRC fights antisemitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.