York JCC prepared in wake of nationwide threats
The York Jewish Community Center informed its members Wednesday about a wave of bomb threats received by Jewish organizations across much of the country.
“This morning we were notified that threatening phone calls are again being received by JCCs and Jewish organizations up and down the East Coast,” the message from the JCC states.
Twenty-seven Jewish Community Centers in 17 states received bomb threats Wednesday, according to a news release from the JCC Association of North America. The spate of threats came less than two weeks after more than a dozen centers in nine states received bomb threats.
No bombs were found in any of the cases, according to the release.
The York JCC did not receive any threats, nor did any of its members, said Melissa Plotkin, diversity and organizational development director for the local facility.
“We want to assure you that there are no threats to our campus,” the message from the York JCC states. “While we have not received a call, we would like to assure you that the first priority of the York JCC remains the security, safety and well-being of everyone on our campus.”
Like any other organization, Plotkin said, the York JCC has a method in place to determine the viability and seriousness of a range potential threats, from robocall threats to live bomb threats to ticking packages.
The threat-assessment method was developed using information from the Department of Homeland Security, she said.
The JCC Association of North America held an online seminar with DHS officials after the first round of threats Jan. 9 to outline procedures for managing bomb threats, leaving JCCs “well prepared for the calls” received Wednesday, according to the release.
Every threat against the JCC is taken seriously, Plotkin said, reiterating that the safety of the JCC’s staff and members is the organization’s No. 1 priority.
“While we’re extremely proud of our JCCs for professionally handling yet another threatening situation, we are concerned about the anti-Semitism behind these threats. While the bombs in question are hoaxes, the calls are not,” the JCC Association’s release states. “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.”