Jewish centers in US, Canada hit with fresh spate of bomb threats
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Jewish centers in US, Canada hit with fresh spate of bomb threats

Six JCCs receive warnings on Sunday; New York governor orders large-scale probe after Rochester building evacuated for second time in week

Police officers investigate a bomb threat outside the Louis S. Wolk Jewish Community Center of Greater Rochester in Brighton, NY on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (Tina Macintyre-Yee/Democrat & Chronicle via AP)
Police officers investigate a bomb threat outside the Louis S. Wolk Jewish Community Center of Greater Rochester in Brighton, NY on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (Tina Macintyre-Yee/Democrat & Chronicle via AP)

Several Jewish centers in the US and Canada received bomb threats Sunday, as a wave of menacing calls and emails showed little sign of subsiding.

Threats were reported at JCCs serving Rochester, New York, Chicago, Illinois, Indianapolis, Indiana, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Vancouver, British Columbia, and Houston, Texas.

All the threats were found to be non-credible and the centers were able to resume operations a short time later. In Houston, the threat was emailed and the building was not evacuated, as a police K-9 unit checked for explosives, according to local media.

The calls and email came as Jewish communities around the globe celebrated the holiday of Purim.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, there have been 152 threats this year against Jewish institutions in 37 states and two Canadian provinces.

Many of the institutions have been threatened more than once.

In New York, where the Rochester JCC was evacuated for the second time in a week, Governor Andrew Cuomo called the threat “a despicable and cowardly act” of anti-Semitism on the Jewish holiday of Purim.

He directed the New York State Police to work with federal and local law enforcement on an investigation.

The building had been sheltering residents who had lost power following a wind storm in the area.

“We are open. We will remain open. Whoever is doing this doesn’t realize this only makes us #stronger,” the center wrote on Facebook.

On Thursday, a top New York police official said most of the threats were likely being carried out by a single individual using phone spoofing technology to mask the source of the calls.

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