Bomb Threats Shutter 3 Los Angeles Synagogue Buildings

Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Three Los Angeles synagogue buildings were temporarily closed due to several bomb threats this past weekend, disrupting Shabbat services.

Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Officer Mike Lopez said University Synagogue and two campuses of Wilshire Boulevard Temple were shut down early Saturday morning. The locations reopened in the afternoon after police deemed the venues secure.

Rabbi Morley T. Feinstein

University Synagogue was closed after a staff member “found an email that was beyond nasty—horrific language, and threatening” in one of the congregation’s email accounts, said the synagogue’s Rabbi Morley T. Feinstein, the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles reported.

Wilshire Boulevard Temple encountered a similar incident when a threat was sent through its website. “While a communication like that can come in through something as innocuous as an online submission form, we take them all seriously,” said Don Levy, the synagogue’s director of marketing and communications.

The incidents follow a wave of more than 150 bomb threats issued against Jewish institutions in early 2017, stoking fears of rising anti-Semitism. In April, the U.S. Justice Department filed criminal charges against an Israeli-American teenager who stands accused of initiating the threats.