Arrest made in firebombing of Bloomfield, NJ synagogue

Arrest made in firebombing of Bloomfield, NJ synagogue

👮‍♂️ Prosecutors say a Clifton man was arrested in the attempted arson attack on the Ner Tamid temple🔥 Rabbi Marc Katz says security improvements prevented the temple from catching fire🕊 The synagogue is hosting an interfaith rally with rabbis, pastors and imams

BLOOMFIELD – A 26-year-old man from Clifton was arrested after an attempted arson attack on a Jewish temple on Sunday morning.

Nicholas Malindretos was charged with attempting to use fire to damage and destroy a building used for interstate commerce.

“I am proud to announce that the suspect in the Temple Ner Tamid arson attack is in the custody of the FBI and the Bloomfield Police Department,” Bloomfield Mayor Michael Venezia said on social media on Wednesday night, just before the U.S. Prosecutor Phillip Sellinger released details.

Suspect tracked down by license plate reader in Bloomfield

A black Volkswagen was picked up by a license plate reader driving on synagogue territory immediately before and after the 3 a.m. incident, according to a criminal complaint filed in the case.

On Wednesday, officers found the car parked in Clifton.

Inside the Volkswagen, they found a black hoodie sweatshirt with a skull design, white gloves and a mask – all matching the person seen in the temple’s surveillance video, according to the same complaint.

Hours before the arrest was announced, a reward for information leading to the suspect’s arrest had increased to a total of $15,000.

🔥 Molotov cocktail stopped by security upgrades

According to Bloomfield Police, a man wearing a ski mask walked up the driveway of Temple Ner Tamid on Broad Street early Sunday morning around 3:15 a.m. with a Molotov cocktail in hand. He detonated the homemade gun and threw it at the front doors of the building.

However, the glass bottle broke and caused only minimal damage. Rabbi Marc Katz confirmed to New Jersey 101.5 that reinforced doors prevented the bottle from throwing the glass and igniting the building from the inside.

While Katz is grateful that government grants have helped pay for the security improvements, he worries that smaller synagogues without a manager who spends time filling out pages of grant application forms will be at risk.

He sees a world in which larger synagogues are becoming “tougher”, but smaller ones are not.

“Unfortunately, we live in a time where we need to take these precautions. We probably don’t need them everywhere, but when we do need them, they’re really important,” Katz said. “Who would have thought that someone would show up in front of our community in the middle of the night with a Molotov cocktail.”

Temple of Ner Tamid in Bloomfield. (Google Maps)

Temple of Ner Tamid in Bloomfield. (Google Maps)🕊 Bloomfield Interfaith Rally Against Hate

Following the attempted arson attack on Bloomfield Synagogue, faith leaders and elected officials gather Thursday night for a rally to unite against hate.

The congregation at Ner Tamid Temple will hear readings from local rabbis, pastors and imams.

“This attack on our community was likely motivated by anti-Semitism and that is one form of hate, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that there aren’t others in their own way addressing hate in other forms,” ​​Katz said.

Katz said his job as the synagogue’s rabbi is to remind his congregation that they are safe and have allies in their community to unite against a growing trend of hatred.

The rally is scheduled for 6:30pm at the Temple Ner Tamid at 936 Broad Street in Bloomfield.

Also on Thursday, Malindretos was scheduled to make his first appearance in federal court in Newark.

Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

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