More Jewish Community Centers Receive Bomb Threats During Purim Holiday

More than 80 Jewish centers have received at least 120 threats since the beginning of the year.

Another wave of threats targeted eight Jewish community centers across the United States and Canada on Sunday, coinciding with the holiday of Purim.

The following community centers received threats: Louis S. Wolk JCC in Rochester, New York; Indianapolis JCC; JCC of Greater Vancouver, in British Columbia; Harry & Rose Samson JCC in Milwaukee; Chicago JCC; Siegel JCC in Wilmington, Delaware; Evelyn Rubenstein JCC of Houston; and Beachwood Mandel JCC in Cleveland.

Many of these centers have been threatened more than once in recent weeks. Some, like the Vancouver center, were targeted twice last week alone.

“It is especially repugnant that this latest act of anti-Semitism took place on Purim, a day that we celebrate the resiliency of the Jewish people,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Sunday in a statement.

Purim is typically a joyous occasion observed by dressing in costume and eating hamantaschen, a triangular fruit-filled cookie.

More than 80 Jewish centers across the nation have received at least 120 bomb threats since January. Three Jewish organizations in New York City were threatened last week alone.

Only one arrest has been made in relation to the threats. Juan Thompson, a former journalist with The Intercept, was arrested March 3 in connection with at least eight of the threats. He allegedly stalked a woman by making the threats in her name to Jewish community centers and the Anti-Defamation League’s New York headquarters.

The JCC Association penned a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week demanding more forceful action.

“We are frustrated with the progress in resolving this situation,” the letter said. “We insist that all relevant federal agencies, including your own, apply all the resources available to identify and bring the perpetrator or perpetrators, who are trying to instill anxiety and fear in communities across the country, to justice.”