Bomb Threats Target Jewish Community Centers In At Least Four U.S. States

Jewish community centers in at least four U.S. states were targeted with bomb threats on Monday, in what appears to be the fourth wave of such disruption in less than two months. 

According to local news reports, centers in Wisconsin, Illinois, Texas and Alabama were targeted.

The Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center in Whitefish Bay, Milwaukee was evacuated Monday morning after receiving  threatening phone calls, the Journal Sentinel reported.

The St. Paul Jewish Community Center in Minnesota was evacuated Monday morning after a bomb threat, the Star Tribune reported citing local police.

the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center in Houston, Texas was also evacuated following a bomb threat received by phone, a local NBC affiliate reported.

The Levite Jewish Community Center in Birmingham, Alabama was briefly evacuated Monday morning after receiving a bomb threat, AL.com reported.

Earlier this month, at least 17 Jewish community centers across North America were targeted with bomb threats, the third wave of such mass disruption in a month.

David Posner, the director of strategic performance at JCC Association of North America, confirmed that threats had been called into JCCs in California, Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Ohio, Utah, Wisconsin and Ontario, Canada.

After each wave of threats, evacuations and the “all clear” from the police, the community centers resume activity, leading some to dismiss the bomb threats as merely a hoax.

And yet, while no bombs were found at any of the JCCs, those who regularly attend the schools, community centers, and day cares that are evacuated are shaken and fearful after each set of calls directed at the Jewish community.

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  1. Joe Levin
    Joe Levin says:

    At least 10 Jewish community centers across the United States were targeted with bomb threats on Monday, for the fourth time in five weeks.

    The threats have been called in to JCCs across the country, according to Paul Goldenberg, the director of Secure Community Network — an affiliate of the Jewish Federations of North America that advises Jewish groups and institutions on security.

    News reports indicated that threats were received by JCCs in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin; St. Paul, Minnesota; Houston, Texas; Buffalo, New York; and Birmingham, Alabama.

    The threats were called in on Monday morning. It is not known if they were live calls or recorded.

    “It appears to be the same serial caller” as in the prior incidents, Goldenberg told JTA.

    Goldenberg said that some of the JCCs were evacuated and others were not.

    “The JCCs are very well-equipped to handle this,” he said.

    Goldenberg did not confirm where any of the threats occurred, saying they took place across the country and that his office “is monitoring the situation.”

    Goldenberg said the fact that the threats were made on Presidents Day, when more people might be in the buildings during the daytime, does not appear to be a factor in the threats.

    Last week, President Donald Trump was asked during a news conference about the prior JCC bomb threats and what the government’s response would be to “an uptick in anti-Semitism.” Although the reporter did not suggest Trump was anti-Semitic, the president answered by denying he is an anti-Semite and called the question “insulting.”

    The Harry and Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin was evacuated at about 10:30 a.m. on Monday, and reopened at about 3 p.m., an hour after police and FBI officers said that everything was clear, according to local reports. A message on the JCC’s website read: “The JCC is currently closed and safely evacuated.” It is the second time in recent weeks that the JCC has been evacuated due to a bomb threat.

    The Jewish Community Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, including an early childhood program, also was evacuated on Monday morning, according to Minnesota Public Radio. The students at the center were moved to a nearby fire station while police cleared the building and investigated.

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