NEW YORK (JTA) — JTA doesn’t give out Person of the Year honors, but if we did I’d be tempted to nominate Michael Kadar, the Israeli-American teenager accused of making hundreds of bomb threats against Jewish community centers in early 2017.
As I wrote soon after his arrest:
“[T]he JCC bomb threat hoax wasn’t just an isolated swastika daubing — it was an ongoing story affecting Jewish institutions in nearly every American Jewish community. It shaped a communal narrative that something ugly and insidious was happening out there. And it fueled a political crisis among most American Jewish organizations and the…
NEW YORK (JTA) — Literally within seconds of the news of the arrest in Israel of an Israeli-American teenager for the bulk of the JCC bomb threats, Twitter lit up with Jewish anxiety.
“[I] fear the inevitable backlash from haters who we whipped [into] a frenzy for our own nefarious political aims” is how someone responded to the JTA story about the arrest.
A colleague’s friend wrote, “And now people will have another excuse to not take anti-Semitism seriously.”
The shock and anxiety inspired by news of the arrest were understandable. After all, anti-Semitic organizations and websites keep tallies of…
NEW YORK (JTA) — On the morning of March 7, Rabbi Beth Naditch found out that two of her three children’s schools had received bomb threats.
The anonymous calls placed to the MetroWest Jewish Day School and the Solomon Schechter Day School in suburban Boston turned out to be hoaxes, like the rest of the calls placed to some 120 Jewish institutions since January.
And while the news was shocking, the threats were something Naditch and her husband had tried to make sure their sons — ages 9, 12 and 14 — would be ready for.
A week earlier,…
(JTA) — At least seven Jewish community centers in the United States and Canada received bomb threats while they were hosting Purim events.
The threats, either called in or emailed, were reported Sunday at JCCs in Rochester, New York; Chicago; Indianapolis; Milwaukee; Cleveland; Houston, and Vancouver, British Columbia.
Most of the JCCs were evacuated and searched. None of the threats turned out to be credible.
For some of the centers it was their second threat in the past week.
The threats are part of a wave that has hit JCCs, Jewish schools and other Jewish institutions since the start of 2017. More than…
NEW YORK (JTA) — Over 100 Holocaust remembrance institutions, scholars and educators called on President Donald Trump to maintain a government office dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism following a report that he was considering nixing it.
The 120 signatories — among them Holocaust museums, anti-genocide groups, Holocaust studies programs, and Holocaust scholars and educators in the United States and Europe — released a statement Monday calling on Trump to strengthen the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, which fights anti-Jewish sentiments abroad. The signatories also urged Trump to create a new office to combat anti-Semitism in the United States.