A delegation of American Jewish leaders met Thursday with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the wake of hundreds of bomb threats and other anti-Semitic attacks against a range of Jewish institutions over the past several months.
Security personnel in the U.S., Israel and among international police tracked down the perpetrator who was allegedly responsible for making more than a hundred bomb threats via phone calls and emails to Jewish Community Centers, Jewish Day Schools and other Jewish institutions across the United States and elsewhere. An ex-journalist was also apprehended for making eight similar bomb threats to Jewish institutions and the New York-based headquarters of the Anti-Defamation League.
However, there has been a rise in anti-Semitic vandalism against synagogues and similar targets that is apart from these incidents. Hundreds of headstones were knocked over and broken at three Jewish cemeteries since January 1.
The JCC Association of North America and other members of the delegation requested the meeting with the Attorney General to discuss the investigation, federal and local law agencies’ support, the safety of Jewish institutions and the next steps.
Some of the groups represented at the meeting included the Anti-Defamation League, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Jewish Federations of North America, and Secure Community Network. Also in attendance were JCC executives from Rockville, Md., Wilmington, Del., Baltimore, and Birmingham.
“We are looking forward to continued collaboration with government at all levels,” said Stephen P. Seiden, Chair of JCC Association of North America’s Board of Directors. “We are confident, at the centennial of JCC Association of North America this year, that JCCs are safer today than ever before.”
Other members of the delegation also shared their appreciation for the continued hard work being done by the Department of Justice and other law enforcement agencies.