No Threats at JCC in Scranton, but Increased Awareness

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SCRANTON -- A series of bomb threats across the U.S. is fueling fears at Jewish Community Centers. No bombs have been found, but the FBI is investigating dozens of threatening calls.

There have been no reported threats at the Jewish Community Centers in our area, but at the JCC in Scranton, there has been an increase of police patrols and other precautions.

We also heard from members who were happy to hear President Trump denounce these treats.

There have been no disruptions to the day care at the Jewish Community Center in Scranton, no people forced out of the fitness center. This JCC has been spared the threats that have happened to dozens of similar facilities across the country.

"We are happy that we haven't received any sort of threat, but we are concerned about what's going on around the country," said executive director Dan Cardonick.

This JCC offers many services to the community. It also undergoes regular security drills and training just in case.

"I think all Jewish Community Centers in the country are going to be concerned about having the proper police protection, and certainly we're getting that from our community," said member Richard Fine.

At the JCC, they've noticed more Scranton police patrols since some of these threats have been happening. There's also an increased dialog with law enforcement to make sure this place stays safe.

"We are very appreciative here of local law enforcement, here in Scranton. They've been very proactive, reaching out to us, offering their help and offering to help secure our campus here," said Cardonick.

That includes a recent visit from the local FBI office just to remind the JCC the feds are there to help, too.

And now, there is support from the top of the federal government, as President Donald Trump calls these threats "horrible and painful."

"I think it was something that he needs to do for the security of the country and I don't think there's anyone who can do it other than the president himself," said Fine.

The JCC has numerous ways it secures its building and there's a lot to protect at a time when places like this feel threatened.

"I think there's a problem with antisemitism in this country," said JCC board president Jerry Fragin. "It's maybe swept under the rug or in the closet, it's always been there. It just seems there's more of late."

The national JCC Association says so far this year, 54 JCCs have received threats. All were hoaxes.

The only JCC threatened in Pennsylvania was in Wynnewood, a Philadelphia suburb.