HACKENSACK, N.J. — Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Cureton is sounding off on the “domestic terrorism” that occurred in Monsey, New York Saturday night, during which an intruder reportedly entered a Rabbi’s residence during a Hanukkah celebration and stabbed five victims who are Orthodox Jews with a machete.  

The assailant, Thomas Grafton, was arrested several hours later in Harlem. The 37-year-old suspect faces charges of attempted murder.

“This senseless attack on the Jewish community is yet another display of domestic terrorism which must stop,” said Cureton in a news release. “Regardless of your religious belief, we all strive to live a life free of hurt, harm or danger. My heart goes out to the Monsey, N.Y. and Rockland County community and I pray for healing.”  

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Cureton said the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office will continue its diligence of increased patrol of all houses of worship in Bergen County.

“It is our job to protect all residents,” he said. “Hate has no place here, and we stand against any attack in our community.” 

Cureton’s statement comes on the heels of Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Regional Director Evan Bernstein’s advisement to public officials to speak out to “demand meaningful change” to protect the Jewish community.

ADL is the leading anti-hate organization that was founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education and fighting hate online, its goal is to protect the Jewish community and works to eliminate bias, discrimination or hate towards any group or individual.

“We thank Governor Cuomo as well as all local and state law enforcement agencies and officials for their rapid response and investigation into this attack and call for continued focus on addressing ways to stop the increase in hatred and violence,” said Bernstein.