New York

Gov. Cuomo Calls for Investigation Into Bomb Threat at Rochester Jewish Community Center

Two JCCs in New York have been threatened within a week

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling on New York State police to investigate a bomb threat against the Jewish Community Center in Rochester.

The Rochester JCC received multiple elmailed threats stating that there was a bomb in the facility around 10 a.m., said Brighton Police Chief Mark Henderson said at a press conference Sunday. The center was closed and evacuated Sunday morning while authorities cleared it. It was to reopen at 3 p.m.

Police say about 300 people were inside the Jewish Community Center of Greater Rochester when the emailed threat was received.

Cuomo said he was "profoundly disturbed and disgusted" by the threat, and said he's ordered a joint investigation into the matter by state police, federal and local law enforcement.

"The new bomb threate against the Brighton Jewish Community Center is a despicable and cowardly act that will not be tolerated in New York," he said in a statement. "It is especially repugnant that this latest act of anti-Semitism took place on Purim, a day that we celebrate the resiliencey of the Jewish people."

The governor also reinforced the city's zero-tolerance policy regarding anti-Semitism.

"As New Yorkers, we will not stand by silently as some seek to sow hate and division," he said. "New York is one family, and an attack on one is an attack on all."

Sen. Charles Schumer also denounced the threat, calling it "despicable" to target an organization that opened its doors to those in need.

"Rochester JCC opened their doors to care for wind storm victims this wk & just received 2nd bomb threat in less than 1 wk," he tweeted. "Despicable."

Several other JCCs across the coruntry received emailed bomb threats Sunday, including the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center in Houston. Officials said the facility has been checked by Houston police and has been cleared to continue its regular business hours.

An evacuation was ordered at the Jewish Children's Museum in Brooklyn Thursday morning as police investigated a bomb threat, officials said.

Police responded to the museum on Eastern Parkway after getting a call around 9:30 a.m. The nature of the call to police wasn't clear, but state Sen. Jesse Hamilton, who represents Crown Heights and other neighborhoods in the area, said the museum had received a bomb threat.

Gov. Cuomo also confirmed the threat, adding that it came via email. He spoke to reporters alongside Devorah Halberstam, the mother of Ari Halberstam, whose death at age 16 in a 1994 terror attack inspired the museum's creation. The museum is dedicated in his honor.

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Authorities have been looking into more than 120 bomb threats called into nearly 100 JCC schools, child care and other similar facilities across the nation since January. No injuries have been reported in any of the cases and no devices have been found. The FBI is assisting in the probe.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, there have been 152 threats this year against Jewish institutions in 37 states and two Canadian provinces.

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