When Paul Joseph Fishman was sworn in as New Jersey’s 54th U.S. attorney on Monday, his speech included allusions to how Judaism shaped his sense of justice.
The 52-year-old Fishman grew up attending Temple Sholom, now Temple Avodat Shalom, in River Edge. Rabbi Neal Borovitz, who attended the swearing-in ceremony at Rutgers School of Law in Newark, has a 22-year-long relationship with New Jersey’s new top prosecutor and he noted the impact Judaism has had on Fishman.
“His passion for social justice very clearly comes out of his Jewish background,” the rabbi said. “We’re very blessed to have a person like this who has a passion for justice. He stressed a sense of the responsibility of administering justice justly.”
Fishman, who now lives in Montclair with his wife, Lynn, and their sons, Noah and Ian, still attends Avodat Shalom on the holidays with his family. His father, the late Myer Fishman, was a past president of the synagogue, and his mother, Gloria Fishman, formerly worked at the YJCC of Bergen County in Washington Township.
President Obama nominated Fishman in June and the Senate confirmed him in October. More than 500 people attended Monday’s ceremony, making it the largest ever for the swearing in of a U.S. attorney. Guests included U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, Sens. Bob Mendendez and Frank Lautenberg, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, and former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.