Woman left antisemitic voicemail at synagogue
Sewell, NJ – A woman has been arrested and charged with harassment and bias intimidation after leaving a disparaging voicemail on the answering machine at a synagogue, police said.
Janice Beakley, 58, was charged following the Sept. 5 incident, Washington Township Police Chief Pat Gurcsik said.
Beakley allegedly called Congregation B’nai Tikvah Beth Israel and left the voicemail, which “expressed her extreme distain for the Jewish faith, their members as well as their facility,” Gurcsik said in a news statement.
According to an affidavit of probable cause filed in court, Beakley ranted in the voicemail about seeing Jewish people in the library and in James G. Atkinson Park, not far from the synagogue, which is on East Holly Avenue in the Sewell section of the township.
“I want that synagogue gone,” Beakley is quoted as saying in the message, which also referenced the town of Lakewood in Ocean County, Social Security and Medicare, and the Kosher diet.
At the end of the call, a man can be heard saying “yup” in agreement, the affidavit says. When interviewed about the call, Beakley denied making it and leaving the message, but the man later told police it was her.
“Hate has no place in Washington Township,” Gurcsik said. “The threats made are an act that terrorized the synagogue and its community just because of their faith.”
Beakley was lodged in the Salem County Jail before a court date.