A 19-year-old New Jersey man is accused of tossing explosives into two synagogues, including one in Rutherford where a rabbi and his family were sleeping, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli identified the suspect as Anthony Graziano, of Lodi, N.J.
Authorities believe he acted alone in both attacks, a week apart, and was motivated by anti-Jewish bias.
No one was seriously injured when several objects, including a rigged aerosol can and a Molotov cocktail, were thrown into the synagogue in Rutherford on Jan. 11, but Graziano has been charged with first-degree attempted murder, bias intimidation and aggravated arson in that attack.
One of the firebomb devices crashed through Schuman’s second-floor bedroom window at about 4:30 a.m., burning him on the hand. His wife, five children and mother- and father-in-law escaped unscathed.
In the Paramus attack on Jan. 3, Graziano is charged with first-degree aggravated arson and bias intimidation.
Authorities released photos of a possible suspect last week. He was seen on surveillance video wearing a red and black track suit, black sneakers and a red wool skullcap. He was carrying a camouflage backpack.
Prosecutors say they received several tips after releasing the photos, and confirmed it was Graziano on Monday.
It was not immediately known whether he had an attorney.
GRAZIANO, ABRAHAM JOSEPH SOLOMON BEN MORDECAI:
Italian rabbi; died at Modena in 1685; cousin of Nathanael b. Benjamin Trabot. He probably belonged to the Gallico family, the name “Graziano” being the Italian equivalent of “Johanan.” Graziano, who was rabbi of Modena, was the author of the following works: “Sha’are Efrayim,” explaining all the passages in which the particles and are found in the Pentateuch; “Haggahot we-Ḥiddushim,” annotations and novellæ on the Shulḥan ‘Aruk, cited by Ishmael Coen in “Zera’ Emet”; “Liḳḳuṭe Dinim,” various halakic decisions; and a collection of poems. Of these works there have been published only two elegies on the death of Rabbi Aaron Benoit Modena, inserted in the “Ma’abar Yabboḳ,” and some responsa included in the “‘Afar Ya’aḳob” of Nathanael ben Aaron Jacob Segre.
Graziano was very broad-minded, and the ultra-orthodox rabbis disapproved of some of his halakic decisions. He permitted the use of an organ in the synagogue (“Haggahot we-Ḥiddushim” on Shulḥan ‘Aruk, Oraḥ Ḥayyim, 560, § 3). As a poet he was highly appreciated, his style being both easy and elegant. Graziano signed his works , the initials of his name and that of his father.
Among four children of Graziano Scazzocchio, a Roman Jew, and Giovanna Baraffael, three females (Bianca [later Ettorre], Giuseppina [later Adami], and Eugenia [later Piervitali]) were baptized at birth, and the only male (Bruno) was left at liberty to decide about his choice of religion in his adult age. He eventually was baptized in 1927 at the SS. Pietro e Marcellino church and even became a member of the Franciscan Third Order, but continued to pay taxes to the Synagogue of Rome. All of Scazzocchio’s children married Catholics (Bruno—twice), and all their surviving 14 children were baptized at birth. Nevertheless, in December 1938 Graziano and Giovanna submitted their application letter for “discrimination,” for they and many of their children had been unwillingly enrolled in the Jewish Community due to the fact—they explained—that their mother was considered Jewish, despite the fact that she was the daughter of a mixed marriage and that her Jewish father had converted to Catholicism before 1896, as had her husband in August 1938. “They were threatened,” they wrote, “by being considered Jewish even though they proved their total disentanglement from the Jewish race and despite the fact that all their descendants, through their four marriages with Aryan Catholics, are and will be Aryan.”
In a word “Crypto”
When Vincent Graziano, opened a Jewish funeral home in Mamaroneck, seven years ago, he had a lot of trepidation. Would the local Jewish community embrace his business? Or would they exclude him as an outsider?
Thomas Rocco Barbella (his manager, Irving Cohen, convinced him to take his grandfather’s last name, Graziano) grew up in one of the toughest sections of New York City, and overcame extreme poverty and his own run-ins with the law to become one of the greatest middleweight boxers of the 1950s.
The Rock was once a world champion, and he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Part famous, part infamous, Paul Newman portrayed him in the 1956 film Somebody Up There Likes Me.
Rocky also co-starred with the inimitable comedian Henny Youngman in a short-lived 1955 TV series called The Henny and Rocky Show. Oy Vey!