'Neo-Nazi or White Supremacist Hate Groups Seem to Be Becoming Much More Vocal'
Across the country nearly 30 Jewish institutions, including community centers that house preschools, were targeted with bomb threats on Wednesday, less than two weeks after a similar occurrence where at least 15 Jewish agencies and community centers were forced to evacuate after a wave of threats.
No bombs or dangerous weapons were found, though many of the institutions were forced to evacuate. Many of the community centers also house preschools and other community organizations.
Paul Goldenberg, the director of Secure Community Networks, a consultant on security efforts for Jewish institutions told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) that this round of calls was made live by a woman, as opposed to a recording that was used in the last round.
Goldenberg continued, “The neo-Nazi or white supremacist hate groups seem to be becoming much more vocal. Their threats are much more specific, in some cases they’re calling for armed marches, in some cases, leaving very specific threats against Jewish communities — bombing threats, harassment.”
In a statement released shortly after the all-clear, the Jewish Community Center Association of North America said, “While we’re extremely proud of our JCCs for professionally handling yet another threatening situation, we are concerned about the anti-Semitism behind these threats. While the bombs in question are hoaxes, the calls are not. We know that law enforcement at both the local and national level are continuing to investigate the ongoing situation. We are relieved that no one has been harmed and that JCCs continue to operate in a way that puts the safety of their staff, visitors, and premises first.”
The heightened threats to Jewish centers come on the heels of the threat of an armed march against Jews in Montana and are reflected in the sharp rise in anti-Muslim attacks and rising tensions as we get closer and closer to Donald Trump’s inauguration.
"You see a lot of pictures in the news from incidents of bomb threats and other horrible events, but I feel this picture says so much," a woman described by the Minnesota Star Tribune as a teacher at the Sabes Jewish Community Center, wrote on Facebook Wednesday. She posted the photo above. "These 4 cribs held 18 babies as we pushed them out of the building until we loaded them into our cars to take them to a safe location. When the staff came back to the building after the all clear, it made my heart stop to see these cribs sitting in the empty parking lot."
"How do people make threats like this on buildings full of innocent children?" she asked. "I'm praying for our country tonight and our children."
Image via Facebook