Fify-seven bomb threats were made to Jewish centers around the United States throughout the month of January. The coordinated threats, often targeting multiple organizations in the same hour, started on the East Coast and spread to westward two weeks ago, culminating in the evacuation of 14 Jewish community centers on Tuesday.
After each wave of threats, evacuations and the “all clear” from the police, the community centers resume activity, leading some to dismiss the bomb threats as merely a hoax. And yet, while no bombs were found at any of the JCCs, those who regularly attend the schools, community centers, and day cares that are evacuated are shaken and fearful after each set of calls directed at the Jewish community.
Steve Schneider, whose daughter attends a JCC preschool near Chicago, was notified on Tuesday that the children were evacuated after a bomb threat. “Truthfully, I’m scared," he says, although his daughter had spent the day sick at home. "It hits a lot closer to home when its your kids and your school. A lot of the parents are upset. These are kids are below 5 years old.”