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Jewish Day Schools Receive Bomb Threats, FBI Investigating

Shortly after noon on Wednesday, the Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy’s Schwartz Campus in Bryn Mawr received a call that became “a material and physical threat to the campus,” according to Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia CEO Michael Balaban.

The campus went into lockdown as the Lower Merion, Radnor and Haverford police departments were called in, along with the FBI. Students were relocated for over three hours as law enforcement officers investigated the threat.

Fortunately, it was “unfounded,” Balaban said. Students and staff members returned to school around 3:30 p.m. Classrooms were filled and activities resumed. Parents picked up their kids at normal time.

“Everything is normal,” the CEO said.

The Jewish advocacy group StopAntisemitism tweeted about the threat, noting it was the school Governor Elect Josh Shapiro’s children attend.

The call to Barrack was one of many “telephonic threats” across the United States on Wednesday, Balaban added. They went into schools and institutions in Florida, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The nature of the threat is still being investigated, according to Balaban. But the cadence of the calls “seemed to indicate” that they “came from the same source,” the CEO said.

“Yesterday’s threat is symbolic of what many of us in the Jewish community have felt for quite some time,” he said. “The rising of antisemitism throughout the United States. The mainstreaming of hatred. And it’s intolerable.”