Thursday, September 21, 2017

The scene outside the JCC in Nashville, Tenn., following a bomb threat Jan. 9, 2017(credit: YouTube)

ADL’s Jonathan Greenblattcredit:

Responding to the more than 100 bomb threats targeting Jewish community centers, schools and other institutions, as well as the Jewish cemetery desecrations, since the start of 2017, the U.S. Senate joined the Trump administration in addressing the anti-Jewish threats, calling for “swift action” to end them.

“We are concerned that the number of incidents is accelerating and failure to address and deter these threats will place innocent people at risk and threaten the financial viability of JCCs, many of which are institutions in their communities,” stated a letter signed by all 100 members of the Senate.

The letter—which was addressed to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director James Comey—also called on the nation’s top law enforcement officials to communicate with Jewish institutions on “victim assistance, grant opportunities or other federal assistance that may be available to enhance security measures and improve preparedness.”

A sixth wave of bomb threats targeted more than a dozen Jewish community centers (JCCs) and Jewish day schools across the U.S. and Canada Tuesday, followed by four more threats on Wednesday.

According to reports, Jewish schools and institutions in New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, Wisconsin, Maryland, Oregon, Florida, Alabama, Colorado, Delaware and Connecticut were threatened either over the phone or by email. Two Canadian JCCs in Toronto and London, Ontario, were also threatened, as well as one in western Canada

In addition to the JCCs and schools, the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) offices in Atlanta, Boston, Washington, D.C., and New York City were all threatened.

“This is not ‘normal,’” Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL’s CEO, said in a statement. “We will not be deterred or intimidated.”

Since the start of January, at least 98 threats have been made against JCCs and Jewish day schools, according to the JCC Association of North America. The umbrella organization said that the incidents have been a mix of in-person, email and robocall threats.

The JCC in Wilmington, Delaware, has received four threats during this time, including the one sent overnight Tuesday. Seth Katzen, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Delaware, which shares a building with the JCC, said he doesn’t know why they’ve been targeted so many times.

“We haven’t seen that drop that other communities experienced,” Katzen told JTA Wednesday.

“We’re a resilient and strong community. We don’t want to give in.” But he added, “There is a wear and tear, no question.”

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer condemned the latest wave of bomb threats Tuesday.

“I want to acknowledge that there’s been an additional wave of threats to Jewish community centers and Anti-Defamation League offices,” Spicer told reporters.

“I share the president’s thoughts that he vehemently hopes that we don’t continue to have to share these reports with you. But as long as they do continue, we’ll continue to condemn them and look
at ways in which we can stop them,” he added. and combined sources

Join Our List
and receive information on community events, announcements, exclusive sales and our issue emails.