Home Cherry Hill News JCC closes its building briefly after two bomb threats this month

JCC closes its building briefly after two bomb threats this month

Cherry Hill facility increases security as investigation continues

Special to The Sun/The Sun

The Katz Jewish Community Center (JCC) on Springdale Road in Cherry Hill had to briefly close its doors twice earlier this month after receiving two electronic bomb threats. 

After the first warning on March 8 and the JCC building’s subsequent evacuation, it was determined the bomb threat was uncredible. The building reopened at 5 p.m., with no interruption to staff because of remote technology that was implemented during COVID. But the next day, the center received another bomb threat – also uncredible – and had to close its building again, this time until 1 p.m. 

Jen Weiss, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey, parent organization of the JCC), also reported two bomb threats on March 9 at JCC buidings in Philadelphia and Buffalo, New York. While those threats also proved uncredible, they remain under investigation by the FBI and local law enforcement.

“From the instant (the bomb threats) were seen, the Cherry Hill police came, the bomb squad, FBI, and law enforcement were absolutely incredible,” Weiss said. “When it was ascertained we needed to do something, we did it immediately.”

The Cherry Hill JCC has increased security for the time being. The last time the center was threatened was in 2017, when JCCs around the country also experienced threats. One year later, 11 congregants at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh were killed by an active shooter. 

Since then, Weiss said, the JCC has invested in improved security, and former Cherry Hill police chief William “Bud” Monaghan, joined the center as its new regional director of security in December.  

“We’re safe; we did everything we needed to do to ensure everyone was safe and we’re alive and strong,” Weiss noted. “We’re going to keep coming back from this stuff.” 

While the bomb threats at the JCC Cherry Hill were resolved, they are still under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact the  Cherry Hill Police Department Investigative Unit at (856) 488-7833. Tips can also be submitted anonymously by email to the department at tips@cherryhillpolice.com.

Information can also be sent by texting TIP CHERRYHILLPD, followed by your message to 888777


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