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Nearly 100 Jewish Houses of Worship in California Receive Bomb Threats

Six Jewish temples in San Diego County were threatened Tuesday morning after someone sent a message saying a bomb was hidden in their respective buildings.

The local synagogues were among 91 total Jewish houses of worship in California that received similar threats, according to officials.

Just after 8:30 a.m., a person at Temple Solel in Cardiff called the Sheriff’s Department to report receiving an email that said explosives would soon be detonated at the campus, sheriff’s Lt. Zheath Sanchez said.

Sanchez said deputies arrived quickly and helped evacuate the buildings. A sweep of the campus turned up no explosives, he said.

Threats were also emailed to people associated with Congregation Beth Israel and Temple Emanu-El in San Diego, Temple Etz Rimon in Carlsbad, Temple Adat Shalom in Poway and Congregation Etz Chaim of Ramona, according to Bill Ganley, community security director for the Jewish Federation of San Diego, a nonprofit group that promotes Jewish values and identity locally.

Most of the synagogues have some form of preschool education on their sites, officials said.

At each of the threatened temples, the staff called investigators who then came to the site and cleared the building for threats, Ganley said. No injuries were reported.

“They are hoaxes and unfounded, but we have to encourage our organizations to make sure they respond appropriately just in case,” Ganley said.

“These are terrorist threats to disrupt the community,” he added.

Heidi Gantwerk, president of the Jewish Federation, emphasized that threats against the Jewish community in recent years have been on the rise. First aid and emergency preparedness classes taught at temples and security checks before events have become common in the local Jewish community.

“We are doing all this work to let people know what to do, feel safe and participate in Jewish events,” Gantwerk said.

No further information was immediately available.