Rise in Anti-Semitism, Bomb Threats Hits Dallas JCC

The fifth wave of anti-Semitic threats toward Jewish community centers and day schools now includes the Dallas JCC.

Since the beginning of January, there have been 20 threats and 90 bomb threats reported throughout the country. In recent weeks Jewish cemeteries have also been desecrated in St. Louis and Philadelphia. A security advisory has been issued by the Anti-Defamation League.

Messages of hate and anti-Semitism have been widespread in at least 13 states, including Florida, New York and now Texas. In Dallas, parents and members of the JCC received a message from the center's CEO Artie Allen. According to the letter, the Dallas JCC has been the target of threatening emails and phone calls.

"This is not just a Jewish moment. This is a cultural moment, in which we are challenged to stand United against hatred and discrimination," the letter stated.

Members of the JCC youth group said it's not surprising, but it's still scary.

"It’s hard to know how to cope, but I know that speaking out is the first step," 16-year-old Seth Weprin said. "I think if you let yourself be quiet, you're never going to start on the process and path to peace."

Other members of the Youth Group are remaining vigilant.

"Religion is supposed to be one of your comforts in life, and being discriminated against for what you're comfortable with - it hurts," 17-year-old Sam Shane said. "No matter how much hate fills this country, I'm going to stay a proud Jew. I'm going to keep going to my Jewish Youth Group where I feel at home. I'm going to keep going to services that make me feel at home. I'm going to stay proud of my religion no matter what happens."

The recent threats, hateful speech and anti-Semitism coincides with the increased division throughout the country.

“The Jewish community has increased its public pressure on government leaders to take a strong stand against hate and to step up its investigation of these incidents,” Allen's letter stated.

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