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Threats target Owings Mills JCC, Jewish schools

Annapolis, Rockville Jewish Day schools targeted
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Posted at 11:08 PM, Feb 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-28 06:32:17-05
Dozens of threats have affected facilities across the nation. Monday, three Jewish organizations in Maryland were the targets of bomb threats.
 
The Jewish Community Center in Owings Mills, the Aleph Bet Jewish Day School in Annapolis and the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School were all targeted Monday. 
 
The JCC in Owings Mills received the bomb threat came around 10 a.m. Management decided it was safe to conduct business as usual but say there's still some concern.
 
"We had a quick determination that we felt the threat was not credible at the time and decided not to evacuate our building," JCC COO Paul Laurie said. 
 
The JCC is always busy, Monday morning was no different but threats to Jewish facilities nationwide is disheartening some. 
 
"It's extremely unnerving it makes us very uneasy our job as JCC's are to serve our communities and to strengthen community and build community," JCC CEO, Barak Hermann, said. 
 
"It really undermines this kind of sense of safety and community within our society," said Dr. Drew Pate, a psychiatrist at Sheppard Pratt Health System. 
 
In Philadelphia, 100 Jewish graves were vandalized. The JCC Association of North America reported 21 bomb threats at 13 JCC's and eight Jewish day schools in 12 states Monday.
 
"I'm just very disappointed that we've not been able to catch the people causing this stress on our organization and our system across the country," Hermann said.
 
Leaders say these kinds of actions won't deter their mission.
 
"This is not what our country's about, it's not what the Jewish community is about but were not going to let these unfortunate acts that are happening derail or stop our wanting to serve community everyday," Hermann said.
 
Mental health experts say that's the right way to handle these kinds of targeted actions.
 
"When we look at history we know that people hide from these things, it just allows these threats and intimidation to grow and they way to stop them is to stand up and speak out against them," Pate said.
 
Hermann goes on to say all necessary precautions adding that their main priority is the safety of its staff and members.