LIVINGSTON, NJ (Essex County) — U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer, a member of the House Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Antisemitism, Sunday joined the Rally Against Antisemitism with Temple B’nai Abraham, Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, Temple Beth Shalom, Congregation Etz Chaim, the Synagogue Suburban Torah Center, and the Livingston Clergy Association.
The Rally Against Antisemitism comes following the recent threat from an individual who stole a Livingston school bus and left behind journals with a variety of threats against Jewish people.
Gottheimer was joined by NJ State Senator and former Governor Richard Codey, NJ Assemblyman John McKeon, NJ State Senator Nia Gill, Livingston Mayor Michael Vieira, Livingston Councilman Shawn Klein, Livingston Councilwoman Rosy Bagolie, Livingston Councilman Ed Meinhardt, Commissioner Pat Seabold, and the North Jersey community.
The rally was organized by Temple B’nai Abraham, Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, Temple Beth Shalom, Congregation Etz Chaim, Synagogue Suburban Torah Center, and Livingston Clergy Association.
“As the only Jewish member of the New Jersey congressional delegation, the spike in antisemitism, and anti-Israel sentiment, hits me and my family particularly hard — like I know it does yours. I know what it feels like to be persecuted and attacked for your religious beliefs — for proudly being Jewish. Like many of you, I also lost loved ones in our family in the shoah … and I have been on the receiving end of antisemitic attacks. So, when I see a surge in swastikas in schools and communities, what’s happening on our college campuses and on social media, a Molotov cocktail at a temple, it’s personally gut wrenching,” Gottheimer said. “I’ve been at the forefront of combating antisemitism for years now — even before coming to Congress. Speaking up and out — even against those in my own party — whenever and wherever we see it.”
“I want you all to know that I’m committed to the fundamental premise that country should always come before party — whether it is protecting our nation’s freedoms like the one that lets all of us practice our religion freely and without fear of repercussion — or supporting Israel, the sole democracy in the Middle East and our longtime ally, or working to ensure everyone has the opportunity to practice their religion freely and safely,” Gottheimer said.
Last month, in response to this ongoing crisis of antisemitism, Gottheimer led a bipartisan group of 85 Members of Congress condemning antisemitic celebrities and public figures.
Last week, Gottheimer led a group of 32 total Members of Congress in introducing a new House Resolution — H.Res.92 “Recognizing Israel as America’s legitimate and democratic ally and condemning antisemitism.” Full text of the H.Res.92 can be found here.
Gottheimer also recently introduced new bipartisan legislation — the Holocaust Education and Antisemitism Lessons (HEAL) Act — with more than 60 cosponsors. The bipartisan HEAL Act will direct the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to conduct a study on Holocaust education efforts in public schools nationwide.
Gottheimer has helped claw back more than $8 million in Nonprofit Security Grants to New Jersey’s Fifth Congressional District since 2016. This federal investment provides security for houses of worship, religious schools, and community organizations that are at risk of a terrorist attack from homegrown and lone-wolf ISIS-inspired terrorists, white supremacists, and other domestic threats.