The JCC of San Francisco was one of more than 50 Jewish community centers nationwide that received a vague, emailed bomb threat in recent days.
The threat came to the center’s general email address on late Sunday morning. It did not name the JCCSF nor any specific target, and it did not contain anti-Semitic language. Authorities quickly determined the threat to be not credible, and the building — which was hosting youth basketball in addition to its regular activities and services — was not evacuated.
“We received a threatening email that was similar to or identical to ones that were sent to more than 50 JCCs and Jewish institutions nationwide,” CEO Marci Glazer told J. in an interview Tuesday. “While the threat was pretty quickly deemed to be not credible, out of an abundance of caution the SFPD dispatched a number of officers who swept our main facility.”
In a statement, the San Francisco Police Department said officers responded to the JCC at 3200 California St. after a report of a bomb threat was received at 11:55 a.m. “A systematic search of the building yielded negative results,” the statement read.
The city’s Special Investigations Division was notified of the incident. Officials do not know who sent the threat.
Since Saturday, JCCs in 23 states have received emailed threats, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Most of the emails were identical and sent to centers in New York, New Jersey, California, Texas and elsewhere in the country. None named the specific institutions or contained anti-Semitic language, JTA reported.
In response to the threats, the JCC Association of North America, the umbrella group for the centers, said in a statement that it was working with the Secure Community Network, which coordinates security for Jewish institutions nationally.
When reached for comment, Rafael Brinner, the director of Jewish community security for the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation, directed J. to a statement from Doron Krakow, president and CEO of the JCC Association of North America.
“At this time, it is the assessment of our security partners that there is no known credible threat related to the emails,” Krakow said in a statement.
“Our JCC and our five other regional colleagues are extraordinarily well-prepared and well-organized to assess threats and respond in a measured and professional way,” Glazer said. She called the threat “nuisance activity” and a “colossal waste of resources” for law enforcement and first responders.
“We remained open and engaged with our community throughout,” she said.