The Jewish Center, a prominent Modern Orthodox synagogue on West 86th Street on the Upper West Side was evacuated after receiving a called-in bomb threat Monday morning, and a nearby day school closed its doors while police conducted a sweep of the Jewish Center.
The street surrounding the synagogue was closed by police during the sweep, said David Pollock, associate executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council, who handles security matters.
Beit Rabban, a day school a block from The Jewish Center enforced a lock-down, preventing students or teachers or other people from going into or out of the building.
“Due to police activity, expect the presence of emergency personnel and intermittent street closures in the vicinity of West 86th Street and Columbus Avenue,” an email from the New York Police Department stated Monday morning.
Bomb threats against Jewish institutions, and subsequent evacuations and lock-downs have become frequent in recent years, especially after incidents of foreign violence like the recent ISIS terrorism in Paris and last summer’s Israeli war in Gaza against Hamas terrorists, said Paul Goldenberg, director of Secure Community Network, the “national homeland security initiative of The Jewish Federations of North America & the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.”
“These are not uncommon,” Goldenberg said.
While such bomb threats usually find no bombs on-site, affected buildings are evacuated, or go into “lock-down mode” “as a precautionary measure,” Goldenberg said.
The police gave Beit Rabban the all clear at 12.30pm.