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Wisconsin Jewish Organizations Have Different Responses To Recent Nationwide Bomb Threats

Jewish Community Center Wants Members To Continue Living; Jewish Federation Is Calling For Action


After another wave of bomb threats across the country this week, a Jewish federation is calling for action against bigotry, while a Jewish community center is encouraging members to keep moving forward with their lives.

Last week, the Harry and Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center in Whitefish Bay was evacuated for the second time this year after bomb threats were called in.

Mark Shapiro, president and CEO of the center, said they’ve been focused on continuing to provide services for the community and helping them find strength to not give in to the threats.

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“Sometimes when fear is brought into our world, sometimes we need to take a deep breath and realize that the best thing that we can do is to turn around and keep living our lives the way we want to,” Shapiro said.

On Monday, Jewish community centers and schools in 11 states were evacuated because of bomb threats. This was the fifth wave of threatening phone calls to centers and schools across the United States this year. Since the first wave Jan. 9, there have been a total of 100 bomb threats, according to CNN.

Dina Weinbach, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Madison, said the number of bomb threats is outrageous and unheard of. She said she believes everyone needs to speak out against anti-Semitism in their everyday lives.

“Whether, you know, you’re talking with your neighbor or you’re talking with other acquaintances and you hear anything that could be anti-Semitic or acts of hatred, to speak out against it, to denounce it, to condemn it,” Weinbach said.

The Milwaukee Jewish Community Relations Council reported anti-Semitic incidents in Wisconsin were up 60 percent in 2016 from 2015.