🔴 Work had just started on clearing the property of Chai Lifeline in Jackson

🔴 The graffiti appeared on cut trees and stacked lumber

🔴 Swastikas were painted on 14 homes and another burned in Lakewood June 5

JACKSON — Anti-Semitic graffiti was found at the site of a Jewish-owned health organization that provides programs and services to children and families of all religions dealing with life-threatening pediatric illnesses.

Just one day after work began clearing property for Chai Lifetime's building on County Line Road in Jackson, “is this for Jews” and other messages were spray painted on lumber at the site. Jackson police are investigating the incident.

Chai Lifeline New Jersey Director Rabbi Sruli Fried told The Lakewood Scoop, which was the first to report on the graffiti, that his organization was "horrified and deeply pained" by the discovery Tuesday. He thanked the community for speaking out.

Mayor reacts to vandalism

One of those who spoke out was an angry Jackson Mayor Mike Reina, who described Chai Lifeline as an "unbelivable organization" that has complied with every township request during the approval process.

"They actually take care of these children, the siblings, when the other children or family member is being taken care of, whether it's a hospice situation, treatment therapy, surgeries, mostly for cancer. I was livid that someone would actually put religious hatred towards this. You don't even understand what they do," Reina told New Jersey 101.5.

The Republican mayor acknowledged there has been friction between residents over Jewish groups wanting to build schools and buy homes in the town that borders Jackson.

"It's pure and simple ignorance. You don't even take time to find out what it was. All you knew was that the Jews were building and that's what was written all over Facebook," Reina said. "I think it's time to not only hold the people that do these dastardly disgusting things responsible but it's the people on social media who write without any impunity."

Hate toward Manchester neighborhood

The graffiti appeared after 14 homes in neighboring Manchester were spraypainted with swastikas while an under-construction house was torched.

Ron Carr was charged with targeting the neighborhood on June 5 in the belief the homes were owned by Jews, according to Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer.

The home was being built by the Rivas family. A group led by Toms River Board of Education member Ashley Lamb and her husband Justin Lamb, a Toms River councilman, formed the Rebuild RIVAS Pine Lake Park Coalition to help the family with the reconstruction of their new home.

Foundation of a Manchester house set on fire
Foundation of a Manchester house set on fire ( Jessica Cirz Photography)

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