BEACHWOOD, Ohio - A “deeply disturbing” wave of anti-Semitic threats and attacks continued Monday morning with bomb threats called into nearly a dozen Jewish Community Centers across the country, including the Mandel Center in Beachwood.
Police responded around 11:17 a.m. and determined the threat wasn’t credible and the facility was cleared, but the incident was still alarming given what’s been happening in recent weeks across the country.
“We have seen an unprecedented number of hate incidents, intimidation harassment and assaults,” said Paul Goldenberg, National Director of the Secure Community Network in New York.
Since 2004, the SCN has been tracking and reporting anti-Semitic incidents, working with local, state and federal authorities investigating the hate crimes. They also train Jewish Center employees and volunteers in safety response measures and lifesaving security practices.
Skills Goldenberg says are needed now more than ever after a “dramatic spike” of more than 60 incidents.
“A bit unprecedented because there is no external geo-political event that caused this spike,” said Goldenberg.
The Anti-Defamation League’s equally unnerved by the trend and issued a security advisory with safety tips.
A spokesperson from the Mandel Center, confirmed that they’re in constant communication with local and national organizations and said, “The safety and security of our members, visitors and staff is, and continues to be our highest priority.”
Goldenberg says, hopes people will feel safe and continue to use JCC facilities saying, “The individual or person’s goal is to disrupt others way of life and they’re not going to succeed.”
Both the FBI and Department of Homeland Security are investigating.