SPRINGFIELD, NJ — A regular digital Shabbat Service for members of congregation Sha'arey Shalom in Springfield was interrupted yesterday evening with racist and anti-semitic pictures and remarks, in a type of attack commonly known as "Zoom-Bombing."
Since COVID-19 necessitated the move to a digital communication world, "Zoom-Bombing" has seen an increase in frequency, as millions of Americans use the platform for everything from township committee meetings to religious services, such as the one being performed Friday night.
According to an account of the incident posted on Facebook by Aly Miller, a congregant at Temple Sha'arey Shalom, the service being conducted on the platform by Rabbi Renee Edelman and Cantor Jason Roseman was disrupted with pornographic images, as well as racist and anti-semitic graffiti.
Miller's post was shared numerous times by residents in the community, who noted their disgust with the images and other content that popped up in the "Zoom-Bombing."
The incident mirrors a trend nationally, as multiple virtual meetings and gatherings have been hijacked by pranksters with malicious intent. While Zoom itself released a blog post teaching users how to limit the ability for malicious user to enter chats, the fact of the matter is that most users are still relatively unaware of how to implement those controls.
Finally, Miller noted in her post that following the "Zoom-Bombing," she had contacted the Anti-Defamation league (ADL) about the incident in question.
[EDITOR'S NOTE; In the interest of disclosure, Matthew Kass is a member of Temple Sha'arey Shalom.]