Calling on DHS & DOJ to Address Threats to Jewish Institutions Across the Country ...urging the Trump Administration to take action in response to the recent anonymous bomb threats made against Jewish Community Centers (JCC’s), Jewish Day Schools, and Synagogues.....
PoliticalNews.me - Mar 13,2017 - Collins, King Join Entire Senate in Calling on DHS & DOJ to Address Threats to Jewish Institutions Across the Country
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King joined a bipartisan letter led by Senators Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla) urging the Trump Administration to take action in response to the recent anonymous bomb threats made against Jewish Community Centers (JCC’s), Jewish Day Schools, and Synagogues – including some in Maine. The letter was signed by every member of the United States Senate.
The letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and FBI Director James Comey stresses the importance of these centers within their communities and offers suggestions for deterring the threats of violence.
“These cowardly acts aim to create an atmosphere of fear and disrupt the important programs and services offered by JCCs to everyone in the communities they serve, including in our states,” wrote the Senators. “We are concerned that the number of incidents is accelerating and failure to address and deter these threats will place innocent people at risk and threaten the financial viability of JCCs, many of which are institutions in their communities.”
According to the Jewish Federations of North America, in the first two months of 2017 alone, at least 98 incidents against JCCs and Jewish Day Schools at 81 locations in 33 states have been reported. Threats to the Jewish community even extended to organizations dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism such as threats to two offices of the Anti-Defamation League. The Senators also raised concerns about the desecration of hundreds of headstones at Jewish cemeteries in both St. Louis and Philadelphia.
“We encourage you to communicate with individual JCCs, the JCC Association of North America, Jewish Day Schools, Synagogues and other Jewish community institutions regarding victim assistance, grant opportunities or other federal assistance that may be available to enhance security measures and improve preparedness,” continued the Senators. “We also recognize the anti-Semitic sentiment behind this spate of threats and encourage your Departments to continue to inform state and local law enforcement organizations of their obligations under the Hate Crime Statistics Act and other federal laws.”
The letter is supported by a wide range of groups, including the American Jewish Committee, Anti-Defamation League, Jewish Community Center Association of North America, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Orthodox Union, Jewish Federations of North America and Union for Reform Judaism.
Click HERE to read the signed PDF. The complete text of the letter is below:
Dear Secretary Kelly, Attorney General Sessions, and Director Comey:
We write to underscore the need for swift action with regard to the deeply troubling series of anonymous bomb threats made against Jewish Community Centers (JCCs), Jewish Day Schools, Synagogues and other buildings affiliated with Jewish organizations or institutions across the country. We thank you for your recent efforts and ask that you inform us of the actions that your Departments plan to take to address threats against