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 - April 26, 2019

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

MENDHAM - How long are New Jersey taxpayers going to pay for Chris Christie?  WNYC reports there is a $250,000 line item in the state budget for "gubunatorial transition." Christie still has expenses: the staffer to help him with his waning responsibilities, rented office space near his home and that darn $85,000 portrait, the highest ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 25, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

TRENTON - New Jersey now has the most sweeping equal pay legislation in the nation, a terrific headline, following the governor's bill signing yesterday. The question is enforcement. Women and minorities need to know it is illegal for employers to offer them less pay and benefits than others, and that they have the full backing of the state.

The Jaffe Briefing - April 24, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

STATEWIDE - Yeah, yeah, New Jersey has really high taxes. And, yeah, it is super expensive to live here. So, yet another study is out, with the American Legislative Exchange Council ranking New Jersey second-to-last among states in economic performance and 46th in economic outlook, ROI-NJ reports. The study, called "Rich States, Poor ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 23, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

STATEWIDE - First, there was a turkey in every pot. Then there was the "Square Deal," the "New Deal" and now Sen. Cory Booker says it is time for government to offer a, uh, great deal: A job to anyone who wants one. He is proposing federal grants that would select 15 "local areas" in which adults could get a job at $15 an ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 20, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

ON THE ROAD - It looks like a State Police trooper is going to have to head to the bars to pick up chicks, indicted yesterday for intentionally pulling over women in a desperate attempt to land dates. Internal affairs learned the Trooper was pulling over two lovely ladies at the end of 2016, threatening to arrest them if they didn't hand over their ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 19, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

PLAINFIELD - Those who dabble in Union County politics are learning this morning that the former Democratic chairman, Jerry Green, has died at age 79 after a long illness. Green, a longtime assemblyman from Plainfield, rose through the ranks from serving on the freeholder board in the late 1980s.  He will be remembered as a Roselle native, a ...

Rutgers professor named Pulitzer Prize finalist

April 19, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - For Evie Shockley, poetry – and her professorship at Rutgers University–New Brunswick – are central to her engagement with a world that needs change and central to the ways she prepares students to do their own engagement.

This week, Shockley was selected as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in the poetry category. The Pulitzer ...

Rutgers Professor Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

NEW BRUNSWICK - Helen M. Berman, Board of Governors distinguished professor emerita of chemistry and chemical Biology at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Berman is among 213 people elected to the academy this year, including author Ta-Nehisi Coates, actor Tom Hanks, President Barack Obama, Supreme ...

Questions now swirl around reported Rutgers theft

NEW BRUNSWICK - A crime alert issued by Rutgers police about an armed robbery on Tuesday April 10 has turned out to be false. 

Upon further investigation, police said the alleged incident in front of the Campbell Hall dorm on George Street did not happen as was initially reported. Police had said initially that the suspect showed a handgun, ordered the ...

NB Public Schools task force takes on chronic absenteeism

April 19, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK – Being absent for just two days each month means a student will miss 10 percent of the entire school year – enough to negatively impact that student’s academic performance.

It’s sobering information, and a clear demonstration that chronically absent students are at a tremendous educational disadvantage, one from which many of them will never recover.

OPINION

Safe Sleep for Babies Requires Effort from All

April 10, 2018

For more than a decade, my organization, Keeping Babies Safe (KBS), has sounded the steady drumbeat of safe sleep awareness, which in turn has created bans on dangerous products and has helped enact laws that work to ensure babies are sleeping safely.

In 2018, KBS kicked off its latest awareness campaign designed to promote safe sleep practices and products ...

'Elementary, My Dear Watson!' Solving Mysteries with Genetic Geneaology

April 20, 2018

The next meeting of the New Brunswick Historical Society will be on Thursday, April 26 at 7:00 p.m. Andrew May will speak about Genetic Genealogy. Humans are 99.9% identical in their genetic makeup, yet, differences in 0.1% of our DNA has helped us answer questions about our recent and deep ancestral origins. Direct-to-consumer DNA testing provides the toolbox for solving difficult ...

Why People Should Visit Black Churches and Black People Should Welcome Them

March 29, 2018

Dear TAPInto New Brunswick,

In New Jersey, segregation is a cultural issue that demands the immediate attention of Christians. Nearly 87 percent of Christian churches in the U.S. are either made up of only white, or only African-American parishioners. When we worship in the comfortable bubble of segregation, we miss the opportunity for racial reconciliation, as mandated by Jesus:

"A ...