Jewish Community Centers Across America Receive Bomb Threats

Security+guards+are+on+their+toes+at+Ann+Arbor%27s+Jewish+Community+Center+after+a+bomb+threat+on+Feb.+27.

Security guards are on their toes at Ann Arbor's Jewish Community Center after a bomb threat on Feb. 27.

Jewish Community Centers (JCC) across the country experienced a fifth wave of bomb threats since the beginning of the new year.  

Seven day-schools and 13 JCCs received threats on Monday, Feb. 27 in Rhode Island, Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Florida, Alabama, New York, North Carolina, New Jersey, Connecticut and Ann Arbor, Michigan.  

A man called Ann Arbor’s Hebrew Day School and told a staff member that he had left a backpack containing a bomb at the Ann Arbor JCC.  Moments after the staff member received the threat, at around 9:20 a.m., they called the police.  

Approximately 200 students and staff members evacuated the premises as the police officers searched the center for explosives.  Though no bombs were found, the Ann Arbor Police Department and FBI are still trying to trace the caller.

Rabbi Josh Whinston of Temple Beth Emeth reached out to his congregation in response to Monday’s events. “As our community faces renewed threats, I hope that we can all find strength and courage in each other,” Whinston said.

Open anti-semitic behavior has increased dramatically since January.  In addition to the 68 Jewish Community Centers that have received bomb threats since the start of 2017 Jewish cemeteries in both University City, Missouri and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania have been vandalized this past week according to the Huffington Post.  

Many groups, including The Anne Frank Center, an organization that addresses civil rights across the United Sates, are dissatisfied with President Trump’s response to the recent hate crimes.  The Anne Frank Center deemed Trump’s response to last week’s events as “a pathetic asterisk of condescension,” and went on to say that “the President’s sudden acknowledgement of Anti-Semitism is a Band-Aid on the cancer of Anti-Semitism that has infected his own Administration.”

Trump referred to himself as “the least anti-semitic person that you’ve ever seen in your life,” yet he failed to mention the Jewish people in his Holocaust Memorial Day speech on Jan. 27.  

Sarah Tice, a Jewish freshman at Community High, even thinks that Trump is the cause of the behavior. “Bigots are now starting to speak their minds more because Donald Trump has shown that it’s easy to get away with discriminating because of race or religion,” said Tice.

Even as law enforcement tries to identify the source of the threats, Jewish families all over the country can only imagine what tomorrow may bring.