Fake Bomb Threat Hits Marcus JCC

Fake Bomb Threat Hits Marcus JCC

Michael Jacobs

Atlanta Jewish Times Editor Michael Jacobs is on his second stint leading the AJT's editorial operations. He previously served as managing editor from 2005 to 2008.

The Marcus Jewish Community Center was one of 16 JCCs across the nation that received bomb threats Monday, Jan. 9, but none of them proved to be a real danger.

“Everyone is safe and an ‘all clear’ has been given,” Marcus JCC CEO Jared Powers said in an email sent to members shortly after 3 p.m.

Law enforcement agencies are investigating the source of the phoned threats.

Most centers that received the threats had resumed normal operations by 4:30 p.m., said David Posner, the director of strategic performance at the JCC Association of North America, who works with local JCCs on security.

“We are proud of our JCCs and grateful for their professional staff, who in the face of threatened violence today responded quickly, calmly and professionally by implementing well-practiced evacuation procedures and ensuring that no one was harmed,” Posner said in a statement released by the association.

After assessing the threat and consulting with the Dunwoody Police Department, the Marcus JCC decided that it didn’t need to evacuate. It did contact a search of the entire campus on Tilly Mill Road.

“The safety and security of our members, the community, and our staff continue to be our top priority. We have a strong, professional security team and significant security protocols in place,” Powers wrote. “We ask that you partner with us and if you ever see something that seems out of the ordinary, please say something.”

The JCC Association thanked federal and local law enforcement for responding quickly to all the threats.

“Our first priority is safety. JCC Association’s role is to support all Jewish community centers and their members across the continent as together we ensure that JCCs remain inclusive, engaging community gathering places and safe spaces,” Posner said.

The association has a partnership with the Secure Community Network, which focuses on security for Jewish institutions throughout North America, and works with the Department of Homeland Security. That security network became involved in late January last year when Atlanta Jewish Academy’s Upper School and two Jewish day schools in Florida received bomb threats by phone one morning that proved to be hoaxes.

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