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St. Louis Park Synagogue Closed Preschool and Services After Receiving Threat Targeting Worshippers

A St. Louis Park synagogue closed its preschool and called off an in-person Shababt service Friday evening after receiving a threat of possible violence targeting worshipers whose faith is in the midst of the Jewish High Holy Days.

Members of the temple just off Hwy. 100 near W. 26th Street were told that the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) regional office in Chicago “received a specific threat of physical violence via its website directed at a ‘Beth El Synagogue,’‚ÄČ” synagogue managing director Matt Walzer wrote in a notice to members.

All Beth El facilities in the region were notified, Walzer continued, but added, “There were indications that the threat may have come from the Twin Cities area. St. Louis Park was also referenced by name.”

The decisions to cancel preschool Friday and to shift in-person services online were made “out of an abundance of caution,” Walzer’s notice explained.

St. Louis Park police said in a statement Friday afternoon that they were notified about 9:15 p.m. Thursday about a “threat of violence received on an online messaging platform” targeting the synagogue.

“The as-yet-unidentified sender of the message indicated people could be harmed at a religious service” that had been scheduled for Friday evening, the statement continued.