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Fire Crews Respond to Suspicious Package at Washington Temple

Fire crews responded to reports of a suspicious package at Temple de Hirsch Sinai in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood Thursday afternoon, adding to the list of threats and vandalism at several local Jewish institutions over the past month.

Hazmat crews conducted initial testing of the package and determined there was no hazardous substance, Seattle Fire Department spokesman David Cuerpo said. No one was injured.

The incident has been turned over to law enforcement, Cuerpo added.

At least seven Seattle and Mercer Island institutions have received suspicious envelopes, some containing white powder, since Nov. 3.

Mercer Island’s Herzl-Ner Tamid was also vandalized with graffiti last week in what local and state leaders called a hate crime and an assault on Jewish people.

“Unfortunately, it’s part of the climate that we’re living in,” Senior Rabbi Daniel Weiner said of Thursday’s suspicious package. “It’s part of a larger campaign of intimidation against the Jewish community.”

The suspicious packages and vandalism come against the backdrop of the Israel-Hamas war, which began with an Oct. 7 attack by Hamas and has seen the continued bombardment and invasion of Gaza.

An event scheduled at Temple de Hirsch Sinai for Thursday evening will go on as planned, Weiner said. “Faces of October 7th” will feature the personal story of Shye Klein Weinstein, a survivor of the Oct. 7 attack on the Tribe of Nova music festival.

“As much as we are exerting caution with everything, we’re not going to allow those who are wishing to intimidate us to be successful with that,” Weiner said.

Source: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/law-justice/suspicious-package-reported-at-seattles-temple-de-hirsch-sinai/