Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School Receives Bomb Threat

Rockville school was one of 20 Jewish schools or centers targeted Monday across the country


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The Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville.

Wikimedia Commons

The Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville received a call involving a bomb threat Monday morning, Montgomery County police said.

The Rockville school alerted Montgomery County police at 9:37 a.m. about the call, and officers immediately responded to the scene, police spokesman Officer Rick Goodale said.

Police came into the building and swept through it with canines, he said. The school, which teaches about 1,000 students from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade, was not evacuated, and police found nothing during a half-hour search.

Police are now investigating where the call, which might have been an automated voice message system, came from, Goodale said.

The threat at the Rockville school was one of 20 reported at Jewish community centers and schools Monday, according to NBC4. The Gesher Jewish Day School in Fairfax County, Virginia, also received a threat, leading the school to be evacuated, although nothing was found, according to the broadcast report.

These incidents come after an increase in the posting of anti-Semitic messages and acts across the country in recent weeks. Dozens of Jewish gravestones were vandalized in Philadelphia and St. Louis and The Washington Post reports more than 70 Jewish centers have received threats since January.

On Feb. 9, the city of Rockville held a town hall discussing diversity in response to hate speech events. In January, an anti-Semitic note was left for a Rockville family after members had hung a Black Lives Matter banner from their condo. Also, police reported finding swastikas and “Hail Hitler” spray-painted on several trees in Rockville in January. Graffiti with messages of “white power” was found in a Richard Montgomery High School classroom Feb. 14.

“There’s been a significant increase in anti-Semitic incidents and threats in the Jewish community over the last year,” Rabbi Mitchel Malkus, head of the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, told the Washington Post, “and I believe that’s directly attributable to the political climate that exists in our country.” 

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