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Multiple Jewish Community Centers around the country were told to evacuate due to bomb threats today. Centers in New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, Utah, California, and Colorado were all targeted. None of the threats were deemed credible, but these incidents make the third wave of threats to hit JCCs across the country this month.
Bomb threat at JCC in West Orange. One day. Can we have just one day when there’s no threats or attacks!
— ★ميا★ (@__________MiMi_) January 31, 2017
“We see it as a serious concern to the Jewish community, and the community at large, that there has been a pattern of these at this point,” Elise Jarvis, associate director of law enforcement outreach and communal security for the Anti-Defamation League, told the Daily Dot. “These past few weeks, the ones we saw, fortunately, were not found to be credible. At the same time, we need to be careful to continue to take these seriously.”
According to Jarvis, the ADL has been working with the FBI to provide training for Jewish institutions, including a briefing call last week with over 700 participants from the Jewish community. She says while the threats have largely been a “tactic to disrupt operations and cause panic and terror in the community,” there is fear that they could turn more dangerous.
“The ADL will be working with the FBI to provide training to Jewish institutions across the country to help prepare them,” said Jarvis. “We find these matters really disturbing and take them really seriously.”
Many people in America are worried about a rise in anti-Semitism. In a statement about Holocaust Remembrance Day, President Donald Trump did not mention the Jews killed, and when asked about that non-mention, Press Secretary Sean Spicer called the criticisms “pathetic” and defended Trump’s statement by saying other people died in concentration camps too. Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, also has a history of making anti-Semitic comments.
Jaya Saxena is a lifestyle writer and editor whose work focuses primarily on women's issues and web culture. Her writing has appeared in GQ, ELLE, the Toast, the New Yorker, Tthe Hairpin, BuzzFeed, Racked, Eater, Catapult, and others. She is the co-author of 'Dad Magazine,' the author of 'The Book Of Lost Recipes,' and the co-author of 'Basic Witches.'