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New York City police officers stand guard outside the Riverdale Jewish Center in the Bronx borough of New York on Thursday May 21, 2009. Four men arrested after planting what they thought were explosives near a synagogue and community center and plotting to shoot down a military plane were bent on carrying out a holy war against America, authorities said Thursday. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Dozens of bomb threats to Jewish community centers nationwide have left members rattled

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Dozens of Jewish community centers in the U.S. and Canada received bomb threats in January. Some, according to a CNN report, received multiple threats.

In all, 48 centers in 27 states and one Canadian province received nearly 60 bomb threats last month. Most were on three days: Jan. 9, 18 and 31. 

The FBI said it was investigating possible civil rights violations tied to Jewish centers nationwide.

I've been in the business for 20-plus years, and this is unprecedented. It's more methodical than meets the eye.
Paul Goldenberg, Secure Community Network director

The Jewish Journal said it had a recording of one of the calls, in which a caller said the explosive C-4 was in the center and that "a large number of Jews are going to be slaughtered."


So far, no bombs have been found. However, the fear the threats create have rattled Jews who visit the centers. Many students have withdrawn from the centers' early childhood education programs, which cuts the centers' funding, which in turn leads to reduced budgets and layoffs.  

Orlando's Jewish  Community Center has lost 50 students since the threats began, CNN reports. 

So much of being Jewish is built around community....You need to have a place where everyone can gather.
Jordana Hall, New Jersey mother

While the centers are not exclusive to Jews, they are a key part of the Jewish community.

In 2014 and 2015, the FBI counted more than 1,270 hate crimes committed against Jews, far more than any other religious group. 

President Trump was asked on Wednesday about increasing anti-Semitism in the U.S. He responded by pointing to the size of his election victory and promising a "different United States of America over the next three, four or eight years." 

Here's a clip of Trump's response to that question.

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