(JTA) — 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.
“[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.
He said his organization was instructing the JCCs to be in touch with local police to determine if they should evacuate.
“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.”
Josefin Dolsten is a former news fellow at the Forward, writing about politics and culture, and editing the Sisterhood blog. She received an MA in Jewish Studies and Comparative Religion from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a BA in Government from Cornell University. Follow her on Twitter at @josefindolsten.