Religions and Spirituality

Highland Park woman receives package containing dog excrement and anti-Semitic messages

18a69938302cfb3102d8_5134ee04d1aa70f085df_20171109_082014.jpg
Credits: Courtesy of Elaine Dean
18a69938302cfb3102d8_5134ee04d1aa70f085df_20171109_082014.jpg

HIGHLAND PARK, NJ - Residents of the 1.8 square mile borough are ​learning of an alleged incident of anti-Semitism early Thursday morning, whe​n ​a resident found an envelope on ​her front lawn covered in anti-Semitic drawings​ and including various forms of trash.​

Elaine Dean, whose lived in Highland Park for at least 14 years, said​ t​he outside of the package ​on her lawn ​sported drawings of a middle finger, a Nazi swastika and vulgar descriptions of Jews​.​

Dea​n​ said the inside contained garbage, cigarette butts and ​what appeared to be ​dog ​excrement.​

Sign Up for E-News

“A list of people who I thought it might be started going through my head, and then I called the police,” Dean said.

The Highland Park Police Department and Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office are jointly investigating the incident, according to Highland Park Mayor Gayle Brill Mittler. 

"Highland Park really doesn't tolerate this kind of thing," Mittler said. "If you drive around on many resident's lawns, you'll find the 'Hate Has No Home' sign." 

A spokesperson for the Highland Park Police Department​ or Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office could not be immediately reached for comment.

Dean describes herself as Jewish, though she’s not actively religious or involved with any local synagogue. Her 10-year-old daughter attends a private Jewish school nearby, while her 14​-​year​-​old son attends the borough high school.

The town has a large Jewish population and sports half a dozen synagogues, a Kosher pizza place, a Judaica gallery and an extensive Israeli and Kosher food section at the borough’s local grocery store.

“This stuff just doesn’t happen​ in Highland Park​,” Dean said.

One theory Dean had was that the envelope was placed on her lawn by angry neighbors, who were seeking retaliation against Dean for having four dogs.

Dean said she’d received verbal complaints from neighbors, saying they were frustrated with the noise ​her dogs were making. S​he​ disputed the notion that the dogs were noisy, or that she was violating any local noise ordinances.

​Even if the incident was retaliation, Dean said, whoever left the flyer had gone too far.

“Dogs bark and you talk to them” said longtime resident Michael Garber, referring to the owners and not the dogs, “You don’t put ​out ​anti-Semitic diatribe.”

Michael has been living in Highland Park just shy of 30 years, along with his wife, Sharon Garber, who owns the Covered Girl store on Raritan Avenue.

The store serves religious women such as observant Jews, but also caters to Muslims, Mormons and Seventh Day Adventists in search of more modest clothing.

Sharon Garber has been running the store for six years. She and Michael Garber, both self-described Jews, say they’re active in Congregation Ohav Emeth.

“It’s upsetting,” Sharon Garber said, adding that since she’s moved to Highland Park, the Jewish population has steadily grown.

Nearby at Rutgers University, the Jewish population is still reeling from a slew of anti-Semitic incidents across campus. The weekend before Halloween, a Nazi swastika was found painted on a dorm near the Rutgers dining hall, and shortly before that, a Rutgers food science professor was found to have allegedly shared dozens of anti-Semitic posts on his Facebook.

Most recently, reports surfaced that a Rutgers international relations professor was allegedly an ambassador for Syria and the regime of Bashar al-Assad during the Syrian Civil War, and accused Israel of trafficking human organs.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Brunswick

The Jaffe Briefing - July 19, 2018

TRENTON - Once the state budget is adopted June 30, you'd think the governor gets a break from scrutiny. Unless you are former Gov. Chris Christie, sitting in that beach chair. Or, now, Gov. Phil Murphy, getting wacked for having the players on his Sky Blue FC pro women's soccer team living in alleged squalor. Living in houses with plastic bags for windows, sleeping in bunk ...

The Jaffe Briefing - July 18, 2018

STATEWIDE - One business in Pleasantville has flooded 32 different times since the early 1990s, and rebuilt each time with taxpayer money. A single-family home in North Wildwood has been flooded and rebuilt 23 times, again, on your dime. NJ.com reports that New Jersey is filled with 3,330 properties that have routinely flooded since the 1970s, some as many as 20 or more times, yet ...

The Jaffe Briefing - July 17, 2018

CAPE MAY - Call it a slow news day, nationwide, as the story of a lost dog somehow hit all the news wires. The pug named "Bean" escaped its owner's rental house over the weekend and wandered around backyards before police scooped it up on New Jersey Avenue. Cape May cops, likely not overrun with rampant crime from the bed-and-breakfast set, had plenty of time to post the ...

The Jaffe Briefing - July 16, 2018

STATEWIDE - No one really wants to talk about it. But every time you turn on a household faucet for tap water, its likely messing with a centuries-old system that's possibly leaching lead. And, because of so many World War I-era systems, some parts of the state have an over-abundance of water, while others easily face drought. Of course, upgrading our water ...

The Jaffe Briefing - July 12, 2018

WAYNE - Honey! Cancel our Aug. 9th anniversary dinner! I've got other plans! That's the night you can join this bozo and scores of others at "Lace," a Wayne "gentleman's club" where America's favorite tramp - Stormy Daniels - will strip live and in person. Stop at the bank, trade in your wad of 20s for stacks of singles.

The Jaffe Briefing - July 11, 2018

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - There's a Democratic primary in New York between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and "Sex in the City" star Cynthia Nixon. And why do we care? Because our governor is not blindly throwing his support behind Cuomo in the race, reports New Jersey Globe. "We're not getting involved in that," Murphy said, when asked who he supports, admitting he ...

Rutgers Prof to Climb Alps for Climate Change Study on Glaciers

July 18, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Lauren Neitzke Adamo has long enjoyed hiking along trails and through forests and over rock formations largely to see the natural surroundings.

“I’ve been a huge science nerd all my life,” said Adamo, who has a doctorate degree and is co-director of the Rutgers University Geology museum in New Brunswick.

Next month Adamo will head to the Swiss Alps ...

RU ready for RU Brewfest?

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - There's a lot of promotions planned this fall, as part of the Rutgers football season.

Single game tickets go on sale Thursday, July 12, with seven home games. There's matchups against Big Ten East opponents Michigan and Penn State, and a first-time cross divisional meeting with Northwestern.

If football is not your thing, there's plenty else ...

New Brunswick Man Charged in Sex Assault of Ex-Girlfriend

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A city man was arrested today and charged with sexually assaulting his ex-girlfriend and assaulting a bystander who tried to intervene, Rutgers University police said.

Frank Ferraro, 26, was arrested and charged with sexual assault and aggravated assault, university police said.

They said the victim was attacked about 5:27 p.m. Tuesday, July 3,  at the ...

Prosecutor: FBI Agent Took Improper Photos of Woman in Dressing Room

July 20, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK,NJ  - An FBI agent was arrested and charged with illegally photographing a 22-year-old woman in a dressing room, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said today.

The agent, Danuel Brown, 30, of Piscataway, was arrested was Thursday and charged with a single count of fourth-degree invasion of privacy for allegedly using his cell phone to take pictures of the woman while ...

OPINION

To Our Current and Future Representatives

July 17, 2018

To Our Current and Future Representatives - Wherever They May Be:

We can never forget we are a nation of immigrants. 

We cannot fall prey to fear, ignorance and anger when we  have been historically driven by freedom and justice. 

We must have the courage and will to fight hate, bigotry and prejudice. 

We must not wake up to what we hoped was a bad dream and ...

The Somerset Patriots And 9-1-1 On FOX Are Looking For Hero First Responders

July 20, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset Patriots and 9-1-1 On FOX are asking for Hero First Responder nominations from the community.

Nominate a first responder to be recognized on the field during the pre-game ceremony and throw out a ceremonial first pitch at the Saturday, August 4th Somerset Patriots game against the New Britain Bees at TD Bank Ballpark. Three first responders will be chosen ...

Make the Call, Save a Life

July 12, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - There is much focus on preventative opioid abuse education. Rightfully so. However, the goal in addressing the opioid epidemic is saving lives. Even if that means just saving one life. While people are becoming increasingly aware of resources relating to rehabilitative services, support groups for friends and family of addicts, and training parents for signs of opioid and ...