A Jewish Community Center in Rochester, New York was evacuated Tuesday morning due to a bomb threat. The investigation is ongoing.
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UPDATE: The JCC has been cleared of the bomb threat and will reopen at 10:00 A.M. EST.
The Rochester, New York JCC was evacuated shortly before 6:00 A.M. EST, according to the local ABC affiliate 13WHAM. Roughly 75 people were cleared from the building. All parents of children who attend the JCC daycare were quickly notified and asked to make alternative child care arrangements for the day.
Local and state authorities are on the scene alongside FBI agents. They reportedly searched the building for any potential threats, finding none. The center was closed until at least 9:00 A.M. EST.
“I am aware that there are other JCC facilities across the country that have received the same or similar type threats,” Brighton Police Chief Mark Henderson said during a morning briefing on the side of Edgewood Avenue. “We will work with the FBI to see if this was a similar type threat.”
It is unknown at this time how the threat was received. However, Henderson said that previously established protocols were in place to deal with this type of incident.
“We’ve worked with JCC on emergency planning for a number of years,” he said. The protocol “went into place immediately. The facility was locked down and an evacuation occurred.”
This incident comes amidst a wave of increased anti-Semitic activity across the country. Just lass week, at least five headstones were vandalized at the Waad Hakolel Cemetery, also known as the Stone Road Cemetery, in Rochester.
More than 100 Jewish institutions, the majority being JCCs, have received bomb threats since January 2017. Jewish cemeteries in Philadelphia, St. Louis, and New York have been desecrated in the last two weeks, in addition to increased bomb threats.
Louis S. Wolk JCC
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