Jewish Community Centers across country targeted for bomb threats

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North Wilmington's Siegel Jewish Community Center has been targeted twice this year for phoned in bomb threats. (WPVI)

North Wilmington's Siegel Jewish Community Center has been targeted twice this year for phoned in bomb threats that forced disruption and evacuations on two separate days in January.

"I was shocked because we never had an incident like this," Ivy Harley, Siegel Jewish Community Center Executive Director, said.

The center holds grades kindergarten through fifth.

Rabbi Jeremy Winaker, who heads Head of School at the Albert Einstein Academy, the K-5 Jewish day school, on the Siegel JCC campus, levels with the fifth graders about the local threats, part of a national plague with over 50 in 27 states.

"Towards the end of fourth grade they read 'Number the Stars,' the story about the Holocaust. So they're aware of where anti-Semitism can go and how it's a part of our world," Winaker said.

On Tuesday, while President Donald Trump was touring the African-American Museum in Washington, he decided to speak out on the issue of widespread threats against Jewish agencies.

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President Donald Trump on Tuesday denounced recent threats against Jewish community centers as "horrible."


"The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil," Trump said.

This national outbreak of bomb threats and desecration of Jewish cemeteries has played out in recent weeks without comments by the president who roiled matters last week when he condescendingly dismissed a Jewish reporter who asked what could be done to stop the wave of anti-Jewish activity.

The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect was not impressed. It called Trump's statement: "a Band-Aid on the cancer of Antisemitism that has infected his own administration."



Parent Josh Schoenberg brings his child to the JCC daily.

"One thing that I take solace in is that it's not an isolated attack. 27 states, 50-some communities, which is terrible, but you know it's not an isolated attack," Schoenberg said.

Counselors at the Siegel Center have been helping families cope with the threats.

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