SDPD Investigates Another Threat To Local JCC As Trump Says Anti-Semitism ‘Is Horrible’
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
A threat to the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center in La Jolla Tuesday morning was unfounded, according to center officials.
According to San Diego Police Sgt. Ed Zwiebel, officers responded to a call around 6 a.m. from the center which is located in the 4100 block of Executive Drive.
"Once the threat was received our staff followed practiced protocol and immediately safely evacuated the building and the San Diego Police arrived at the premises," Executive Director Michael Cohen said. "After a careful sweep of the building by San Diego police our building reopened at 7 a.m."
The JCC is part of the national Secure Community Network — an affiliate of the Jewish Federations of North America that monitors, advises, and supports the safety and security of Jewish Institutions, according to Cohen.
"In response to these recent threats across the country, we have been working closely with our local police department and national security agencies to monitor the situation and review our protocols," Cohen said in a statement. "We have been continually briefed by SCN, the Anti-Defamation League and the JCC Association to help us understand the circumstances and support our safety and security efforts."
"While these threats are being investigated, we continue to take numerous security measures to ensure the safety of our members and guests," Cohen said.
Another unfounded threat was made to the Lawrence Jewish Community Center on Jan. 31.
On Monday, 11 Jewish community centers across the country received phoned-in bomb threats, according to the JCC Association of North America. Like three waves of similar calls in January, Monday's threats proved to be hoaxes, the association said in a statement.
In addition, as many as 200 headstones were damaged or tipped over at a Jewish cemetery in suburban St. Louis late Sunday or early Monday.
"The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil," Trump said.
He did not outline what that might include.
The president's comments marked the first time he had directly addressed recent incidents of anti-Semitism and followed a more general White House denouncement of "hatred and hate-motivated violence."
That statement, earlier Tuesday, did not mention the community center incidents or Jews.
Trump "has made it abundantly clear that these actions are unacceptable," that statement said.
The FBI said it is joining with the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division to investigate "possible civil rights violations in connection with threats."
On Monday, Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump wrote on Twitter, "We must protect our houses of worship & religious centers," and used the hashtag #JCC. She converted to
Judaism ahead of her 2009 marriage to Jared Kushner. She joined her father at the
African American museum tour.
Throughout his campaign, Trump was criticized for what some saw as belated and inadequately forceful denunciations of hateful rhetoric by supporters.
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