At least 11 bomb threats called in to JCCs nationwide in third wave of harassment

On Jan. 18, some 30 Jewish institutions in at least 17 states received bomb threats. On Jan. 9, such threats were called into 16 JCCs across the Northwest and South.

By JTA
January 31, 2017 20:05
1 minute read.
synagogue

POLICE IN a van guard the Jewish synagogue and community center in the northern German city of Bremen. . (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

At least 11 Jewish community centers across the United States were targeted with bomb threats in the third wave of such mass disruption this month.

Paul Goldenberg, the director of Secure Community Networks — an affiliate of the Jewish federations of North America, which advises Jewish groups and institutions on security — said the threats were called in late Tuesday morning. It was not clear at the time whether the messages were live or recorded, or the gender of the caller.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


“[I]n the past we know that the numbers can grow exponentially,” he said, adding that perpetrators have been “leveraging technologies to make mass calls.”

Goldenberg confirmed that threats had been called into JCCs in Albany, New York; West Orange, New Jersey, and Boulder, Colorado. There were additional media reports of threats in Milwaukee, San Diego and Salt Lake City.

The JCC in Albany received a bomb threat at 11 a.m. Tuesday, according to Tom Wachunas, the JCC’s fitness director. More than 200 people were evacuated, and were allowed to return after an hour and a half.

“Things went very well from our perspective,” he said. “Everybody is fine.”

Goldenberg said his organization was instructing the JCCs to be in touch with local police to determine if they should evacuate. The JCC MetroWest in West Orange, New Jersey announced an evacuation at 11:42 a.m.



“In light of the newest bomb threats, we must remain a resilient community, and we need to ensure that we are back at our JCCs as soon as local police advise the all-clear,” Goldenberg said.

He added: “Our Jewish community centers are focusing on security today more than ever before, and in spite of these continuous bomb threats I’m confident that our institutions are taking security seriously — and in many cases Jewish institutions are more secure than institutions frequented by the general public.”

On Jan. 18, some 30 Jewish institutions in at least 17 states received bomb threats. On Jan. 9, such threats were called into 16 JCCs across the Northwest and South, forcing the evacuation of hundreds.

Related Content

August 18, 2018
Image of 'Lucky Jew' a phenomenon in Poland

By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ/JTA