Photo: Beth El Temple Center in Belmont
Belmont’s Beth El Temple Center was one of several synagogues in Massachusetts and more than 100 across the country that received bomb threats on Sunday, Dec. 17.
“I am following up on my earlier message regarding the bomb threat to the temple building, which prompted us to close this morning,” said Rachael Fagin, president of the Temple Center, building this m in an email to the congregation sent Sunday, Dec. 17.
Belmont and Cambridge police, including a K-9 unit, searched the building and found no threat, according to Fagin. “Law enforcement has confirmed this to be a hoax.”
“We continue to be grateful for the attention and support of local and state law enforcement. There will be an increased presence from the Belmont Police Department this afternoon,” said Fagin.
Beth El was one of many Jewish religious and cultural centers that were targeted on Sunday, a day after Hannuakka ended.
According to a statement from the Massachusetts State Police, a Jewish community center in Framingham, a Jewish cultural center in Tisbury, and a synagogue in Florence received email threats. At the same time, a bomb squad swept a Natick synagogue in advance of an event, though there was no threat.
“Hundreds of similar threats have been received by Jewish institutions across the United States this weekend,” stated the state police.
Physical acts of vandalism of Jewish institutions and religious centers are occurring. A menorah at the Framingham Centre Common Cultural District was toppled, and a sign voicing support for Israel was taken on Saturday, Dec. 16, according to Framingham law enforcement, which is investigating the incident as a potential hate crime.