Threatening phone call prompts evacuation at Epstein Hebrew Academy

By Eric Berger, Staff Writer

A staff member at H.F. Epstein Hebrew Academy received a threatening phone call Monday morning, prompting the school administration to evacuate the building and eventually dismiss students for the day. 

After receiving the call around 9 a.m. from a male, students and staff exited the Orthodox Jewish day school on Warson Road and gathered at rally points. The administration decided to dismiss students after waiting for a couple hours while an Olivette police K-9 unit and bomb squad inspected the building. 

The scare came three months after Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School in Creve Coeur received a bomb threat. That incident occurred amidst a spate of threats against Jewish day schools in the United States and Great Britain.

“It can’t be overstated that it is because of our level of preparedness at school that we were able to get our kids to safety in such a quick time,” said Rachel Lubchansky, director of operations at the school. “Let these situations that we, thank God, have come out of positively with no harmful effects be a lesson to all of us that being prepared is essential.”

While the students and staff waited for word from police, they played small group games, colored and enjoyed snacks, Lubchansky said. 

“Everybody banded together,” she said, “and tried to make it a unique learning experience.”