Central Conference of American Rabbis Deplores Repeated Bomb Threats at Jewish Community Centers

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Central Conference of American Rabbis is dismayed by bomb threats called into scores of Jewish Community Centers across the country in four sprees over the last several weeks. We are grateful that none of these threats have been backed up by violence. We give thanks that no lives have been lost and no injuries sustained.

Reform rabbis commend our cherished colleagues in leadership of Jewish Community Centers, some of them Reform rabbis and members of the CCAR, who have continued their critical programs and services undeterred. We also applaud the efforts of law enforcement to enhance security around Jewish Community Centers and of various community and Jewish organizations that have provided support to JCC's at this hour of crisis.

We are deeply aggrieved that Jewish Community Centers and other Jewish organizations must expend additional valuable funds on security, diverting resources that could otherwise be devoted to enhancing Jewish life.

These bomb threats are only a subset of an uptick in anti-Semitic incidents in the United States in recent months. Just Monday, dozens of headstones were desecrated at a Saint Louis Jewish cemetery. Not long ago, a swastika defaced our own seminary, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

Many believe that anti-Semitic acts are encouraged by a Presidential election that included hateful white nationalist rhetoric and the election of a President openly supported by anti-Semites. We lament President Trump's failure to forcefully address anti-Semitism when given the opportunity to do so twice during press conferences last week. We know that anti-Semitism is as potent on the extreme left as it is on the far right. We call upon the President and leaders of both parties to speak up forcefully against anti-Semitism and all forms of hatred based on religion, race, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity, among others.

Rabbi Denise L. Eger                         Rabbi Steven A. Fox
President                                          Chief Executive

Central Conference of American Rabbis