Bomb threats prompt evacuation of Jewish community centers in Long Beach and across US

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- A bomb threat call prompted the temporary evacuation of a Jewish community center in Long Beach Tuesday morning amid similar incidents in San Diego and across the U.S.

Officers responded at about 9:15 a.m. to the 3800 block of Willow Street, where the staff of the Alpert Jewish Community Center implemented their action plan and self-evacuated the building, according to the Long Beach Police Department.

There were approximately 300 preschool students and staff who were evacuated to a nearby high school.

"We made the decision to go ahead and evacuate, better safe than sorry," Deborah Goldfarb, CEO of the Jewish Federation said.

No devices were found during a search of the facility, assisted by K-9 units, said police spokeswoman Marlene Arrona. The area was deemed safe just before noon.

Long Beach police said the threat was being investigated as a hate crime.

In the San Diego neighborhood of University City, the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center was evacuated due to a bomb threat shortly before 9 a.m., local police said.

Authorities scoured the facility and gave an "all clear" about 10:30 a.m.

Jewish community centers in Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Utah and Wisconsin were also evacuated Tuesday due to threats, according to news reports, the third such spate of threats this month.

Bomb threats were made to 27 Jewish community centers in 17 states on Jan. 18., the JCC Association of North America said.

Following the first round of unfounded threats, which affected 16 centers in nine states Jan. 9, the FBI launched an investigation.

City News Service contributed to this report.
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