Jewish organizations and schools in a dozen states were evacuated yesterday after receiving threatening phone calls, marking the fifth wave of such incidents this year, the Wall Street Journal reports. Police investigated bomb threats against Jewish community centers in New York and New Jersey, all of which were later reopened. Jewish centers and day schools in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Indiana also received such threats, and they returned to regular operations, says the JCC Association of North America. Locations in states including Alabama, Florida, California and Michigan also received phone threats. The association called on federal officials to “speak out—and speak out forcefully—against this scourge of anti-Semitism impacting communities across the country,” said the group’s David Posner.
In total, 90 bomb threats have been phoned in to 73 Jewish community centers and schools across 30 states and one Canadian province on five different days since the beginning of the year. Yesterday’s incidents came after hundreds of headstones were vandalized at two Jewish cemeteries this month. In Philadelphia, police said more than 100 headstones were damaged or knocked over this weekend at Mount Carmel Cemetery. Earlier in the month, about 200 headstones were vandalized at a Jewish cemetery in the St. Louis area. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said President Trump was “deeply disappointed and concerned” by the reports of vandalism, and that the White House believed it should use its platform to condemn them in the “strongest terms.”