Chicago school among Jewish institutions to get more threats

SHARE Chicago school among Jewish institutions to get more threats

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The Anti-Defamation League, several Jewish community centers across the country and a Chicago school got a new round of bomb threats Tuesday, adding to scores of similar threats since the start of the year.

A man called the Chicago Jewish Day School, part of the Emanuel Congregation synagogue complex at 5959 N. Sheridan Rd., about 9:10 a.m. and said there was a bomb inside, according to Chicago Police. School staff made the decision to evacuate.

Several police officers and K-9 units responded, searched the school and deemed the area safe by 10:50 a.m. Students were then let back inside.

“Following a bomb threat that was received this morning by the Jewish Day School located in our building, we are first and foremost thankful that all of the students, staff and everyone who was in the building at the time were evacuated safely and no one was harmed as a result of this threat,” Senior Rabbi Craig Marantz of the Emanuel Congregation said in an emailed statement.

Marantz said the congregation will continue to cooperate with local and federal law enforcement investigations into the threat.

“We are, of course concerned about the antisemitism behind today’s threat, which coincides with a recent surge in bomb threats around the country. Emanuel Congregation is a community that embraces diversity and religious freedom and we remain vigilant in our stance against this or any type of hate-motivated violence,” Marantz said.

Federal officials have been investigating more than 120 threats against Jewish organizations in three dozen states since Jan. 9 and a rash of vandalism at Jewish cemeteries. Over the course of Monday evening and Tuesday, there were eight emailed or phoned-in bomb threats in six states plus Ontario, the JCC Association of North America said.

In New York, Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said there were five threats made, including to the New York-based Anti-Defamation League, which also received threats to its offices in Atlanta, Boston and Washington, D.C. The ADL said threats were also made in Florida and Maryland.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said he shared President Donald Trump’s hope that the threats subside.

“We denounce these latest anti-Semitic and hateful threats in the strongest terms. It is incredibly saddening that I have to continue to share these disturbing reports with you,” he said. “As long as they do continue, we will continue to condemn them and look at ways in which we can stop them.”

The entire U.S. Senate called on the Trump administration to take more aggressive steps to counter the growing number of anonymous bomb threats.

All 100 senators said in a letter that the incidents are becoming more frequent and failure to take swift action places innocent people at risk. The letter was addressed to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, FBI Director James Comey and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

Contributing: Associated Press, Jordan Owen

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