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Owings Mills Jewish Community Center evacuated after antisemitic bomb threat

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Posted at 3:08 PM, May 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-16 15:08:51-04

OWINGS MILLS, Md.  — The Jewish Community Center in Owings Mills was evacuated this weekend after getting an antisemitic bomb threat.

Several other Jewish community centers nationwide have also gotten bomb threats in recent weeks, including those in Albany and Long Island, N.Y.

The agency, which has centers in Owings Mills and Park Heights, said the threat was deemed non-credible.

The Anti-Defamation League announced last month that the U.S. reached a record high of antisemitic incidents last year.

Here is the statement released to the community:

Dear JCC Friends,

 This past Saturday morning, the JCC received an antisemitic email bomb threat. The JCC in St Louis also received a similar one and both threats were received via website forms and were consistent in language with those at other JCCs in the last several months. Each were deemed by law enforcement to be non-credible.

 Our leadership team were immediately in touch with our security consultants and local law enforcement of Baltimore County and City who quickly came on site at both our Owings Mills and Park Heights campuses and followed the recommended protocols.

 In consultation with the County Police, the decision was made to evacuate the Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC so that they could do a full sweep of the facility in partnership with our on-site security team. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation. After two hours, nothing credible was found, and the Owings Mills campus was reopened. The Park Heights campus was also cleared, though it is normally closed on Saturdays.

 This past weekend our country again saw mass threats and killings at a supermarket in upstate New York, a flea market in Texas, and a church in California, to sadly just name a few. These tragic mass killings are rooted in hate and racism and resulted in innocent lives being lost and hurt and families and communities tragically impacted. The threat we and other JCCs have received are full of antisemitic language and causes frustration and anxiety.

We are saddened that situations like these continue to occur. We take the security of our JCC campuses very seriously and are grateful for the tremendous financial support we receive from the Associated’s Annual Campaign to be able to have full time security personnel at both campuses.

 This is a good time to remind everyone that if you see something, please say something. Please alert JCC security in both lobbies or a staff member if you see anything suspicious, including unattended bags, in and around our buildings. 

 If you have any questions, please reach out to Paul Lurie, Chief Operating Office or someone from our membership team. Our appreciation to our amazing staff for their continued professionalism managing these unfortunate situations.

 We will continue to focus our work at the JCC on building a safe, welcoming, and inclusive community for everyone. 

Sincerely,

Barak Hermann, CEO
Laura Rubenstein, Board Chair