The St. Louis Jewish Community Center evacuated and closed its buildings in Chesterfield and Creve Coeur after receiving a bomb threat Wednesday morning.
Some 30 Jewish institutions around the country received threats around the same time. This was the second wave of threats made in the last two weeks.
The centers in St. Louis were both cleared before 11 a.m. and had reopened by 2:30 p.m.
In the meantime, people who did not leave the area gathered at a nearby shelter. Among those who had to evacuate the J and be transported to a nearby location were people attending its Adult Day Center as well as children in its childcare center. St. Louis County Police were also on the scene.
“While this was certainly was not a pleasant experience, it reinforces the value in regular safety and emergency drills, of which everyone at the J is a part,” Lynn Wittels, CEO of the St. Louis Jewish Community, said in a statement.
Other facilities that received bomb threats via phone were located in: Miami; Edison, N.J.; Cincinnati, and Alabama. News reports also cited threats in Albany, N.Y.; Nashville; suburban Boston and Detroit; West Hartford, Conn., and the Orlando area.
Unlike the other threats made against 16 institutions on Jan. 9, in these cases, the callers were live, as opposed to recorded messages, according to Paul Goldenberg, the director of Secure Community Networks — an affiliate of the Jewish Federations of North America, which advises Jewish groups and institutions on security.
“It’s the second salvo in 10 days. We’re asking people to ensure they stay in contact with local law enforcement,” Goldenberg told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
Information from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency was used in this report.