More News:

January 30, 2023

Attempted arson at North Jersey synagogue underscores statewide pattern of antisemitic violence

A masked suspect threw a Molotov cocktail at Temple Ner Tamid in Bloomfield. It marks the latest in a troubling trend of attacks

Crime Anti-Semitism
temple ner tamid @templenertamidnj/Facebook

A masked suspect threw a lit Molotov cocktail at the front door of Temple Ner Tamid early Sunday morning. The building was not damaged.

UPDATED FEB. 2: Police arrested 26-year-old Nicholas Malindretos, of Clifton, on Wednesday and charged him with firebombing Temple Ner Tamid. If convicted, he could face a minimum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Police are searching for the man who threw a Molotov cocktail at a synagogue in Bloomfield, New Jersey early Sunday morning.

According to officials, the masked suspect approached the front entrance of Temple Ner Tamid at 3:19 a.m. He stopped a few feet from the door, lit the Molotov cocktail in his hands and threw it. He then ran back down the driveway. 

Though the bottle broke, there was no damage to the building, police said. 

The attempted arson was captured on the synagogue's security footage; a portion of it was released on Facebook by the Bloomfield Division of Public Safety. The footage shows the suspect wearing a dark ski mask and hoodie with what appears to be a skull and crossbones on the front. He has not yet been identified.

Bloomfield arson suspect

arson suspect at bloomfield synagogue

Temple Ner Tamid canceled all Sunday activities in the wake of the attack, including classes for around 200 children. Its leaders credited the temple's shatterproof doors, installed through grants from the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, with preventing a greater tragedy.

"We remain proudly Jewish in light of rising hatred," Rabbi Marc Katz told

The attack represents the latest in a wider pattern of antisemitic violence across New Jersey. Last November, the FBI warned state synagogues of a "broad" online threat, prompting increased police presence at temples in Jersey City and Hoboken. Officials later arrested an 18-year-old Sayersville man for circulating a manifesto that described an "attack on Jews" and promised "many more attacks like these against the enemy of Allah" on social media.

In its 2021 audit, the Anti-Defamation League recorded 370 antisemitic incidents in New Jersey, the highest number ever for the state. Though the group has not yet released its 2022 report, ADL reps told the New York Times it would not show a decline. 

The ADL's H.E.A.T. Map, an interactive tool that tracks antisemitic incidents, currently lists 95 in New Jersey for 2022.

"We are outraged to learn of last night's attempted arson," the ADL of New York and New Jersey said Sunday in a statement. "We urge our leaders and community partners to speak out against this outrageous act and ask that all communities remain vigilant, though we have not been informed of any particular additional threats to Jewish institutions in New Jersey at this time."

Local police departments are increasing patrols of Bloomfield and Livingston synagogues as they coordinate with Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin's office to apprehend the suspect. Gov. Phil Murphy was also briefed, according to tweets from his account Sunday. 

"Let me be clear: there is no place for violence or hate in New Jersey and I strongly condemn these acts," he tweeted.

The Bloomfield detective bureau is asking anyone with information about the attack to call (973) 680-4084 or email videos to

Follow Kristin & PhillyVoice on Twitter: @kristin_hunt | @thePhillyVoice Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Have a news tip? Let us know.