U.S. Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11), who represents Verona in Congress, today announced that he is signing a letter to the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Director of the FBI urging them to investigate anonymous bomb threats made via telephone against Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) and synagogues across the nation, and swiftly assess the situation and to advise Congress on what specific steps are being taken to deter such “telephone terrorism.” At least 10 such centers have received bomb threats in recent days, including the JCC Metrowest in West Orange.
“Anti-Semitism, bomb threats, hate speech directed at synagogues and Jewish Community Centers must be immediately condemned and quickly investigated,” said Frelinghuysen. “This nation was built on the foundation of religious tolerance. Anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry are shameful and must end!”
The letter Frelinghuysen is signing urges the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to prosecute the perpetrators for violations of federal criminal laws, and to enable JCCs to enhance security measures in the event that an individual seeks to act on these threats.
The JCC Association of North America reported that 54 Jewish community centers have faced 69 threats, including three waves of bomb threats, since January. They also follow the vandalism of 100 headstones at a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis.