At least 21 Jewish community centers (JCCs) and Jewish day schools were targeted with bomb threats Monday in the latest wave of attacks on the U.S. Jewish community in recent weeks that has seen several dozen JCCs threatened and Jewish cemeteries vandalized.
“Today, there were 21 incidents of bomb threats called into 13 JCCs and eight Jewish day schools in Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia,” the JCC Association of North America said in a statement. “All affected institutions have been declared clear and have returned to regular operations.”
Since the beginning of the year, there have been five waves of bomb threats totaling 90 incidents at 73 locations in 30 states and one Canadian province, the JCCA said.
David Posner, the director of strategic performance at the JCCA, said that leaders must speak out and condemn the attacks.
“Anti-Semitism of this nature should not and must not be allowed to endure in our communities. The Justice Department, Homeland Security, the FBI, and the White House, alongside Congress and local officials, must speak out – and speak out forcefully – against this scourge of anti-Semitism impacting communities across the country.”
The White House Monday strongly condemned the latest round of bomb threats and vandalism on the Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia.
“The President continues to be deeply disappointed and concerned by the reports of further vandalism at Jewish cemeteries,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said. “The cowardly destruction in Philadelphia this weekend comes on top of similar accounts from Missouri and threats made to Jewish community centers around the country.”
“The president continues to condemn these and any other form of anti-Semitic and hateful acts in the strongest terms,” he continued, adding that “[n]o one in America should feel afraid to follow the religion of their choosing freely and openly.”