Machete-waving maniac chases Orthodox Jewish teens at their school

Police are investigating the incident. This is a developing story.

By World Israel News Staff

A man wielding a machete chased Orthodox Jewish teenage boys at their yeshiva – institute of traditional Jewish studies – on Thursday evening in Lakewood, New Jersey, The Lakewood Scoop reported.

The students were reportedly standing outside the yeshiva building when the chase began.

Police are investigating the incident and interviewing witnesses. The building was evacuated, however, amid suspicion that the assailant may still be inside, according to the Thursday evening report.

Social workers were on the scene to assist with trauma.

Antisemitic incidents have been on the rise significantly in recent years, alarming American Jews.

In New Jersey in particular, which also hosts a significant pro-Palestinian population, the FBI warned Jewish communities in November that synagogues in the state were facing a credible security threat and called for extra security precautions.

In Lakewood, which hosts a large Orthodox Jewish community, three residents, who were wearing traditional Jewish clothing, were hospitalized after being attacked by a man on an antisemitic rampage. Two were critically injured.

In the U.S. in general, antisemitic incidents have skyrocketed, American Jewish leaders and experts in the phenomenon have been alarmed to see celebrities with massive followings spew antisemitic tropes in a way that has been taboo for decades, AP reported last month. Some said it harkens back to a darker time in America when powerful people routinely spread conspiracy theories about Jews with impunity.

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Antisemitic incidents reached an all-time high in the United States in 2021, with a total of 2,717 incidents of assault, harassment and vandalism reported to ADL.

This represents the highest number of incidents on record since ADL began tracking antisemitic incidents in 1979 – an average of more than seven incidents per day and a 34 percent increase year over year.