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Jewish Community Center Reacts To Bomb Threat, Anti-Semitic Email

OWINGS MILLS, MD. -- The Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore received an email filled with hateful and anti-Semitic language, which threatened to bomb their facility Saturday, the organization wrote to its members.

Baltimore County Police deemed the threat non-credible.

"The threat we and other JCCs have received are full of anti-Semitic language and causes frustration and anxiety," the CEO Barak Hermann and Board Chair Laura Rubenstein wrote jointly to members.

As a precaution, police evacuated the Owings Mills campus to do a full sweep of the building. After two hours, law enforcement did not find any evidence of a bomb threat.

At the time, there was a children's dance competition scheduled at the center, according to  Howard Libit, the executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council.

"A number of girls and their families had to be evacuated for a while as our partners with Baltimore County Police did a thorough job with searching," Libit said.

The Park Heights campus was closed on Saturday but police still went through the building and cleared it of any threats.

Outside of working directly with law enforcement, both campuses are also staffed with security, Libit said.

"We're always vigilant," he said. "We have to be, and so we invest a lot of money in security across all the system and the synagogues do as well."

This is one of the latest local threats against a group of people.

"I'd love to get the opportunity to talk to them, to try to better understand what it is . . . how hate has come to fill their heart," Libit sad. "Hate is… it takes so much out of you, and as a society, as a community, we have to overcome it."

Center for Health and Homeland Security Michael Greenberger has noted that there is an increase in extremism and hate crimes being fueled by politics.

"It's not just hate rhetoric but it's hate rhetoric that conveys to the listener or reader that their way of life is in danger by the group that is targeted," Greenberger said. "Besides it being a popular vehicle for voting support, too much of it will lead to the kind of devastating act that took place in Buffalo on Saturday."

In the email to members, there was a reminder that if you see something to say something.

"We all have to work together and stand together against hate," Libit said.



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