Jewish centers again receive phone threats across nation

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Another wave of threats was made across the country to Jewish community centers.

"God forbid this is ever needed," the note read. "People are around who can help."

That message came from the staff at Soapstone United Methodist Church in North Raleigh and was sent last month to the Raleigh-Cary Jewish Community Center, whose campus sits across the street. When the church's pastor and trustees learned of the bomb threats targeting Jewish institutions across the country, they insisted on becoming part of their neighbor's security protocols.

"I think partly that's the neighborly thing to do, but partly as a church community - as Christians, we are called to be a people who love our neighbors," Pastor Laura Stern told ABC11. "That's in our scriptures.

The offer was warmly welcomed by the JCC, which has been on high alert after four rounds of bomb threats called into Jewish sites across the country since January 9.

"We are a people that want to build bridges," the pastor added. "That's very much a part of who we are as Christians. Our community feels very passionately about this."

No Jewish institution in the Triangle has received any threat, but the FBI confirms the terror by telephone struck 11 Jewish Community Centers on Monday:

- Birmingham, AL
- Tampa, FL
- Chicago, IL
- St. Paul, MN
- Cleveland, OH
- Tulsa, OK
- Albuquerque, NM
- Buffalo, NY
- Nashville, TN
- Houston, TX
- Milwaukee, WI

Some of these JCCs, including Milwaukee and Buffalo, have been targeted multiple times.


Since January 9, authorities confirm a total of 69 threats were called into 54 JCCs in 27 states and Ontario, Canada:

- Long Beach, CA
- San Diego, CA
- San Rafael, CA
- Boulder, CO
- New Haven, CT
- West Hartford, CT
- Wilmington, DE
- Boca Raton, FL
- Jacksonville, FL
- Miami Beach, FL
- Orlando, FL
- Palm Beach, FL
- Tampa, FL
- Atlanta, GA
- Augusta, GA
- Kansas City, KS
- Boston, MA
- Worcester, MA
- Baltimore, MD
- Rockville, MD
- Portland, ME
- Detroit, MI
- Minneapolis, MN
- St. Louis, MO
- Charlotte, NC
- Edison, NJ
- Scotch Plains, NJ
- Tenafly, NJ
- West Orange, NJ
- Albany, NY
- Binghamton, NY
- Buffalo, NY
- Manhattan, NY
- Oceanside, NY
- Syracuse, NY
- Cincinnati, OH
- Columbus, OH
- Toledo, OH
- Philadelphia, PA
- Columbia, SC
- Nashville, TN
- Dallas, TX
- Salt Lake City, UT
- London, ON, CANADA

"We have to have a plan," Adam Organ, CEO of Raleigh-Cary JCC, told ABC11. "We have a well-rehearsed and practiced plan."

According to Organ and the greater Jewish Federation of Raleigh-Cary, the plan had already included the Wake County Sheriff's Department and the local offices of the FBI and Department of Homeland Security.

With Soapstone United Methodist Church now a partner, Organ credits his neighbors for giving the JCC some peace of mind.

"We're part of a greater community -- not just the Triangle, but a community of human beings."

In a statement sent to ABC News, an FBI spokesman wrote:

"The FBI and the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division are investigating possible civil rights violations in connection with threats to Jewish Community Centers across the country. The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence, and will ensure this matter is investigated in a fair, thorough, and impartial manner. As this is matter is ongoing, we are not able to comment further at this time."

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