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Israeli students targeted in attempted bombing in Poland

Israeli students visiting  Janusz Korczak’s orphanage in Warsaw were targeted with an explosive device on Wednesday.

Students from the Arad’s Ort School, who visit Poland annually, were targeted from an adjacent building, but thankfully no students or staff were injured.

The Israeli Ministry of Education released a statement:

“During the students’ visit…an explosion was heard. Apparently, an explosive was thrown from a nearby window. The students did not suffer any harm, but there is no question that it was thrown intentionally.”

“The security detail accompanying the students evacuated the group from the site, and Polish police began investigating the event. After the students were evacuated, their trip continued as scheduled.”

It seems almost miraculous that none of the attachment were hurt in what is a deeply shocking incident, doubtless owing in part to the security guard’s swift and calm response.

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Bomb threat called in to DC Jewish Military History Museum

A bomb threat was called into a Jewish museum on Thursday July 19 in the early afternoon, according to local police.

The Jewish Military History Museum received the call at 12:30 and immediately alerted the police who cleared the area, eventually declaring the site safe, allowing the museum to reopen.

The call was made by a male who spoke in a “foreign accent”, warning that there would be a bomb in the building on Thursday or Friday.

The Museum states that its mission is to preserve “the contributions of Jewish Americans to the peace and freedom of the United States … [and to educate] the public concerning the courage, heroism and sacrifices made by Jewish Americans who served in the armed forces”.

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Bomb threats shut down LA Synagogues over Shabbat

Two campuses of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple and the University Synagogue in Brentwood, both in the Metropolitan area of Los Angeles, were shut down over Shabbat due to bomb threats.

Both were shut down at around 8 yesterday morning.

Police units searched the premises with dogs and found no genuine evidence of explosives.

Rabbi Morley T. Feinstein of the University Synagogue said that one of his staff members “found an email that was beyond nasty — horrific language, and threatening” and subsequently contacted the police.

Earlier this year, over 160 bomb threats were made to Jewish institutions across the United States. Whilst no actual bombs were found, such campaigns of intimidation will naturally unnerve Jewish communities who for two months in 2017 lived under a constant and highly visible threat of serious violence. Two arrests were made in connection to those threats, and we will bring updates about any developments in this investigation.

According to Rabbi Feinstein, after the Synagogue building was closed, the community decided to continue their Torah study on the side of the street.

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Further bomb threats at JCCs over Purim, now totalling 140 in 2016

Five further Jewish Community Centers received bomb threats over the weekend, when Jewish communities were celebrating Purim, following a spate of hoax threats that have been used to terrorise Jewish institutions.

The new threats bring the tally of bomb threats to 140 this year.

The threats were called in on Sunday and targeted the Jewish Community Center of Rochester, the Indianapolis Jewish Community Center, the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston, the Samson JCC of Milwaukee, and the JCC of Greater Vancouver in Canada.

Following the arrest of Juan Thomas as a suspect in connection to the bomb threats, it was hoped that they would cease, but their continuation clearly demonstrates that this is part of a campaign across North America, by a group of organised individuals and not merely a lone wolf, to intimidate North American Jews. The fact that further suspects have thus far evaded capture by Federal Investigators suggests that they are organised and not merely a group of extremists with telephones.


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BREAKING: more bomb threats at Jewish Community Centers in at least 3 US States

Reports are emerging that Jewish Community Centers have been targeted with bomb threats in the U.S. States of Wisconsin, Illinois and Texas.

These reports follow after dozens of similar threats, all hoaxes, were made across the first few weeks of 2017.

The Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center in Whitefish Bay, Milwaukee; The St. Paul Jewish Community Center in Minnesota; and the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center in Houston, Texas, were all evacuated this morning.

Further updates will be provided when more information emerges.

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Breaking: bomb threats at at least 32 Jewish institutions in America

Last week we reported that at least 16 Jewish Community Centres across the USA had been targeted with hoax bomb threats. There are now currently reports that at least 32 Jewish institutions across the USA have been targeted with similar threats today.

Threats were called in to JCCs on Wednesday. The ADL has said that there were threats in New York, Ohio, New Jersey, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Delaware, Connecticut, Alabama, Maine, California, Tennessee, South Carolina, Missouri, Minnesota and Texas, all of which were fake.

Calls often came in within minutes of one another.

Once again, staff at the JCCs cooperated with police effectively and the buildings were all swiftly evacuated. However, the threats further emphasise the urgent need for increased security at Jewish institutions.

These two incidents, as well as the planned armed neo-Nazi march in Montana, point to a very worrying increase in far right activity, which is becoming not only more visible, but more coordinated, better organised, and clearly calculated to intimidate.

More information can be found here.



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Bomb threats at 16 Jewish Community Centres across the USA

The JCC Association, a body which oversees Jewish Community Centres across the United States, has attempted to calm its members after a series of bomb threats were made against JCCs yesterday.

16 Jewish Community Centres were targeted with bomb threats in total, which were called into police, with some being recorded and some being live.

Centres in  Florida, Tennessee, Maryland, South Carolina, Delaware, Georgia, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania were targeted by threats.

Thankfully, following evacuations of most of the facilities, which were a concerted effort between police forces and JCC staff members, the threats were all discovered to be hoaxes.

Whilst some groups took aim at President Elect Trump over the threats, ADL National Director Jonathan Greenblatt called for calm, saying  “While each of these threats must be taken seriously, and excellent preparation is key to a good response, bomb threats are most often not credible and are usually used as scare tactics in order to disrupt an institution’s operations, and to cause fear and panic”.

Whilst these threats appear to have aimed to intimidate, not to kill, they still represented a coordinated attack to strike fear into Jewish communities across the country, which will leave many people vulnerable. Many Synagogues, Jewish schools, and other communal institutions now have increasing amount of security, yet this incident seems to be designed to make Jews think that perhaps no amount of security is enough. As an effort, it would have required planning, research and coordination, and quite possible several people.

Whilst it is important to recognise that these threats were an attempt to cause fear, Jewish communities must still remain vigilant of the real threat of violence which they face. We recently reported on similar bomb threats in Florida, and whilst these turned out to be hoaxes, violence against Jews is always a possibility, and such an incident reminds us of the need for greater communal security measures.

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Bomb threats at Orlando Synagogue and Jewish school lead to evacuation

The police have said that two Jewish institutions in Orlando had to be evacuated after bomb threats were made to police.

Chabad of South Orlando and the Jewish Academy, an elementary school in Maitland, were both evacuated.

The first call was made about the school, with a call ten minutes later threatening a strike against the Chabad house. No explosives have been found in either location.

In Maitland, not only the school was evacuated, but the entire area, which includes a Jewish community centre and a Holocaust education facility.

Television coverage of the story can be viewed here.

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Explosions outside homes of New York Rabbis

The Police are investigating after there were explosions outside the homes of two prominent New York Rabbis.

The explosions took place in Rockland County.

A woman heard one of the explosions outside her house. Going out to investigate, she saw four men running from the scene, one of whom hurled a firework at her house.

As the police were investigating, it came to light that another explosion had occurred nearly.

The first explosion occurred outside the house of Rabbi Avremel Kotlarsky, the Director of Chabad. The second occured outside the house of Rabbi Simcha Morganstern, a Rabbi at Chabad of Rockland.

The Anti-Defamation League produced the following press release:

“We are outraged by this shocking incident in what appears to be the alleged targeting of two prominent rabbis, and we join with local leadership, including the Jewish Federation of Rockland County, in strongly condemning this brazen act of violence”.

“We are maintaining close contact with local law enforcement and are urging them to vigorously investigate and prosecute those responsible for this alleged anti-Semitic attack.”

“While we are relieved that nobody was injured, such a troubling incident like this can effectively intimidate the broader Jewish community, leaving them feeling vulnerable and at risk. People of any religion, race or ethnicity must feel safe in their own neighborhoods. We are pleased to see statements by local elected officials denouncing the incident and we encourage the community to come together to fight anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry.”

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London police seek man who told Jews to leave or be bombed

Police in London are searching for a man who reportedly approached a Jewish family with a metal bar and stick in his hand, and told them “Jews, move away, move away your children, a bomb is coming.” Shomrim, the Jewish neighbourhood patrol group, said that the man was described as a white male with a shaved head, wearing a dark grey short sleeve t-shirt and blue trousers. The incident took place on Queen Elizabeth’s Walk in north London, and the suspect was last seen walking on Lordship Park in N16.

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Police evacuate Jewish school in Florida after bomb threat

A bomb threat forced the evacuation of the Jewish Community Center in Maitland, Florida, on Tuesday. According to police, the school received a bomb threat at 10:00, following which the community centre’s preschool, elementary school and and gym were evacuated. The pupils were evacuated to another school which police locked down as a precaution. No explosives were found.