TENAFLY, N.J. -- A wave of bomb threats called in to Kaplen JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly and other Jewish centers nationwide on Tuesday was the third so far this year, say authorities who hope the threats prove as harmless as their predecessors.
In the wake of increasing reports, David Posner, director of strategic performance at JCC Association of North America, issued a statement.
“Today, a third wave of bomb threats called in to Jewish community centers has caused 14 centers in 10 states plus one Canadian province, to quickly carry out practiced security protocols to ensure the safety of their participants and facilities," he said.
One of those calls came in to Kaplen -- the second time it's happened there this month.
"While the situation is developing, most have already received the all-clear from local law enforcement and resumed regular operations, with a heightened level of security," said Posner said.
“Safety is our top priority," said Posner, whose role involves advising local JCCs on security policies and practices. "JCC Association is coordinating security trainings for JCC executives and staff, to ensure that our community of professionals across the country is prepared with critical tools, resources and contacts.
“We applaud the JCC professionals on the ground who in light of this recent series of calls, have relied on established best practices, and continue to collaborate with law enforcement agencies to ensure the well-being of all who use and benefit from their facilities,” he said.
“This is the third time this month that multiple JCCs have received phoned in bomb threats in a single day," Posner added. "On January 18, 27 Jewish community centers in 17 states received threats, and on January 9, 16 centers in nine states received threats.
“We are concerned about the anti-Semitism behind these threats," he said.
All threats so far have been deemed hoaxes, said Posner, adding that the FBI is actively investigating all of them.
"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,” he said.
Receiving bomb threats on Tuesday were JCCs in:
- Alpert Jewish Community Center, Long Beach
- Lawrence Family JCC, La Jolla
- Boulder Jewish Community Center
- Lake County JCC, Lake Zurich
- JCC Metro West, West Orange
- Kaplen JCC on the Palisades, Tenafly
- Sidney Albert Albany JCC
- Jewish Community Center of Syracuse
- Worcester JCC
- Jewish Community Center of Greater Albuquerque
- JCC of Toledo, Sylvania
- I.J. & Jeanné Wagner Jewish Community Center, Salt Lake City
- The Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center, Milwaukee
- London Jewish Community Centre