Chicago Jewish Community Center Among Targets In Wave Of Purim Bomb Threats
By Stephen Gossett in News on Mar 14, 2017 12:33AM
JCC Chicago was one of at least eight Jewish Community Centers threatened in the U.S. and Canada over the weekend in the latest wave of anti-Semitic intimidation.
The organization, which has multiple locations in the Chicago region, received an email threat over the weekend, according to Addie Goodman, executive vice president for JCC Chicago. Police were called to the Hyde Park JCC, which had a Purim celebration on Sunday morning, since the threat made reference to the Jewish holiday, Goodman told Chicagoist.
According to both Goodman and a spokesperson for the Chicago police department, police searched the inside and outside of the premises and found no suspicious objects. Police said they responded to the 5200 block of South Hyde Park Boulevard on Sunday after employees of a community center reported an emailed bomb threat, received around 10:17 a.m.
Despite the threat, the Hyde Park JCC’s Purim festival was among the most populous the center has hosted, Goodman said. “There’s been a wonderful outpouring of support from the Jewish community and beyond,” Goodman told Chicagoist. “It’s heartwarming to have the support of community demonstrated in such a way.”
The bomb threat was the third received by JCC Chicago in as many months. The Hyde Park JCC was evacuated on Feb. 20 after a bomb threat, which was eventually determined a hoax. And the Lake County JCC, Elaine Frank Apachi Day Camp, was also cleared, in late January, after it too was targeted with a bomb threat.
A North Side Jewish day school was evacuated on Tuesday morning after it too was the target of a bomb threat.
Anti-Semitic acts of vandalism and intimidation—such as high-profile incidents like the cemetery desecration near St. Louis and the defacement of a Loop synagogue—have increased since around the time of Donald Trump's presidential inauguration, according to Vox.