Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer
An Ocean County Native, the Prosecutor started his career here as a law clerk before going into private practice. While he had his own firm, he was also an adjunct professor at OCC and has served on the boards of Community Medical Center Foundation and People's Pantry. He was appointed Ocean County Prosecutor in September 2018.
Prosecutor Billhimer was nominated as a Hero Against Hate because he has made a volunteer Human Relations Council that works on anti-hate campaigns part of his department. He gives direction to students starting diversity clubs in their schools. He has worked with our coalition of partners on our Student Leadership Conferences, encouraging students to be upstanders. And of course we've all seen the prosecutor's signs about the county declaring that "Hate has no home in Ocean County". We appreciate that he has made this effort a priority for his department and staff.
Caroline is currently an 8th grade student at Toms River Intermediate North. A high honor roll student, she also has a wide variety of interests including creative writing, astronomy, and playing violin. She still makes time for her brothers, sister, and puppy.
Caroline was nominated, because last year she heard kids at school making anti-semitic comments and decided to do something. She is creating a google slide show on Jewish education. Dispelling ignorance for reasons for customs should dispel hate. She plans to have it available for both school classes and groups like the Girl Scouts.
Jasmine is a senior studying Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University. She’s broadened traditional nutrition concepts by founding the Ocean County Community Nutrition Initiative program that aims to make nutrition a primary source for preventative care. A firm believer that food unites people, Jasmine continually seeks to create platforms that embrace cultural differences through nutrition education programs that recognize ethnic contributions.
Jasmine was nominated for continuing to work with the group she founded, the Community Ambassadors Club, which is a youth development and mentorship program, to bridge the gap between students and their community by providing leadership and volunteer opportunities in the areas of healthcare, homelessness, immigration, and hate/bias crimes. The club focuses on providing a safe space for students to voice their experience with hate, discrimination, and racism within their community and school. Committed to engaging in steps towards reconciliation among diverse people groups, Jasmine leads club members in learning about unconscious bias that oftentimes go undetected. The club, now spans Lakewood and Toms River High Schools and Ocean County College.
Toms River Jewish Community Council
TRJCC was born out of necessity; it was a reactionary measure to tension and conflict. A core group of guys—eleven local businessmen—decided to come together to try and promote dialogue and conversation. At the time there were lawn signs all around town saying - Don't Sell! Toms River Strong! There were also zoning issues that brought out large protests.
They were nominated because they work tirelessly to sow the seeds of tolerance and understanding in our community, by showing up to community events and meetings, and volunteering within the community. They will attend meetings with members of the community who are less tolerant, to educate them and demonstrate for them that members of the Orthodox Jewish community want nothing more than to live in harmony with their non-Jewish neighbors.