More security after threat to Beachwood's Mandel JCC

BEACHWOOD, OH (WOIO) - There were several security guards stationed around the Mandel Jewish Community Center on Tuesday.

The center, on South Woodland Road in Beachwood, received a bomb threat Monday morning. It happened around 11:15 a.m. Beachwood police brought a bomb-sniffing dog and quickly realized the threat was a hoax. The community center was not evacuated.

The center was one of eleven locations that got similar calls around the same time across the U.S.

Since January, there have been 69 threats against Jewish Community Centers in 27 states across the country.

Though you don't have to be Jewish to be a member of a JCC, many are.

"The majority of people are Jewish," said Steffi Wegewitz. "It's a safe place for them. To threaten your safe place, that just doesn't sit well with me."

The National JCC is tracking all of the threats to centers across the U.S.

The following is a statement released by the Mandel JCC:

Like many JCCs around the country, the Mandel JCC received a non-credible bomb threat via phone call earlier today. Following established procedures, Mandel JCC security officers initiated a building-wide search. City of Beachwood police with bomb-sniffing dogs and the Jewish Federation of Cleveland's Director of Community-Wide Security were quickly on site. It was determined that the threat was non-credible and the building was not evacuated.  The J remains open and operating as usual.

The safety and security of our members, visitors and staff is, and continues to be, our highest priority. We have established security procedures in place and are in constant communication with the Jewish Federation as well as local and national security organizations.

While such threats are intended to be disruptive, our staff responded in a very calm and professional manner and we are appreciative to them and to the Beachwood Police Department and the Jewish Federation of Cleveland for their immediate response.

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