Authorities are investigating bomb threats called in to Jewish community centers in at least five states, including New Jersey, on Monday.
The JCC on Palisades in Tenafly sent out a text alert saying it received a bomb threat shortly after noon, and that it evacuated the entire building, including a preschool, senior center and adult daycare facility for people with disabilities, as a precaution. Parents of preschoolers were told to pick up their kids and all JCC programs were canceled for the day.
The precise nature of the threat wasn’t clear, but Chopper 4 was over the scene around 1:30 p.m. as law enforcement officers sweeped the scene. The “all clear” appeared to have been issued a short time later, as chopper footage showed people walking back into the building.
Similar phoned-in threats were reported Monday at religious centers in Florida, Maryland, Tennessee and South Carolina. No injuries have been reported and sweeps of the evacuated buildings have yielded no explosive devices.
JCC MetroWest in West Orange sent an email to members about its enhanced security protocol, which includes moving its guard post to a more visible location, rotating guards on patrol and installing new, brighter lighting in the garage.
“We know of NO immediate threat to our JCC, we have made these adjustments as part of our ongoing effort to consistently review our security program and put in place the recommendations of well qualified security professionals,” the email said.