Photo Credit: Ivanka Trump's Instagram
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner arrive in Washington to celebrate their father’s inauguration

U.S. President Donald Trump took aim at the bomb threats that have been targeting Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) across the United States over the past several months – including the latest wave of threats that struck 13 JCCs in five states on Monday.

Speaking at a tour of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the president told gathered officials that the tour was a “meaningful reminder” of why it is necessary to fight bigotry, tolerance and hatred in all its “very ugly” forms.


“The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful, and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil,” Trump said.

The president’s entrepreneurial daughter, Ivanka Trump, was the first member of the family to comment on the continuing rash of bomb threats targeting America’s JCCs.

“America is a nation built on the principle of religious tolerance,” Ivanka Trump tweeted overnight. “We must protect our houses of worship & religious centers. #JCC”

The FBI said in a statement that its bureau and the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department are now “investigating possible civil rights violations in connection with threats to Jewish Community Centers across the country.”

Paul Goldenberg, national director of the Secure Community Network which acts as a consultant agency on security for Jewish organizations, told CNN, “I’ve been in the business for 20-plus years and this is unprecedented. It’s more methodical than meets the eye.”

Jewish Community Centers serve as the hub of Jewish life for most communities in America today – and when fear strikes in the Jewish community, keeping people away, buildings stay empty. Programs suffer, and budgets do too. When budgets suffer, ultimately, communities do as well.

More than 1,270 hate crimes against Jews were recorded by the FBI in 2014 and 2015 – and sources say the situation is escalating.

Goldenberg said the bomb threat caller has been using a sophisticated technology that masks the voice, so it’s difficult to tell whether the perpetrator is a teen or a twisted adult. “They could be 15 or 60 y ears old,” he told CNN. “These masking technologies are very effective.”

More to the point, many Jewish parents are upset and pulling their children out of programs in the JCCs out of fear that one of the bomb threats will turn out to be real.

Many more parents are upset – and angry – that mainstream media have not been covering this issue.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.