(JTA) — Several Jewish Community Centers in the United States and Canada received bomb threats on Sunday.
More than 150 threats have been received by JCCS, Jewish schools and other Jewish institutions since the beginning of the year, according to Secure Community Network, which coordinates security across Jewish organizations in North America.
Threats were reported at JCCs in Rochester, New York; Chicago, Illinois, Indianapolis, Indiana; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Cleveland, Ohio; Houston, Texas; and Vancouver, British Columbia. The threats were called in or emailed, according to reports.
It was the second time in the last week that threats have been received by some of the JCCS on Sunday’s hit list.
Most of the JCCs, busy due to the Purim holiday, were evacuated and searched following receipt of the threats. None of the threats turned out to be credible.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday called the second such threat against the Rochester JCC in less than a week “a despicable and cowardly act” of anti-Semitism. Cuomo ordered the New York State Police to launch a more intense investigation into the threats, and to work with federal and local law enforcement on the investigation.
“Like all New Yorkers, I am profoundly disturbed and disgusted by the continued threats against the Jewish community in New York,” Cuomo said in a statement Sunday. “As New Yorkers, we will not be intimidated and we will not stand by silently as some seek to sow hate and division. New York is one family, and an attack on one is an attack on all.”
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said he plans to provide additional law enforcement intelligence and staffing to the JCC in Milwaukee so it “continues to be a safe place,” sifter it was evacuated on Sunday for the fourth time in six weeks.
Meanwhile, a rally was held Sunday outside the Rady Jewish Community Centre in Winnipeg, which was evacuated due to a bomb threat on Thursday, “to send a signal of unity against fear and terrorism.”