Providence police investigating threat to Jewish center


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Jewish center in Providence was evacuated Monday morning after it received a threatening phone call, city police confirm.

According to Lindsay Lague, spokesperson for the Providence Police Department, the threat was made towards the Jewish Community Center on Elmgrove Avenue.

After the call came in, employees contacted police and cleared the building. Students from the preschool were taken to another building down the street.

Officers conducted a sweep of the building along with Kyra, a bomb-sniffing dog, and gave the all-clear after nothing was found.

There were other reports Monday of threats made against Jewish centers in other states, including Pennsylvania, Florida and Indiana.

Jeffrey Savit, President and CEO of the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island, called the people making the threats “hate mongers.”

“We have to proceed with heightened vigilance,” he said. “We have to bond together as a community.”

Savit said the organization wasn’t targeted in a round of bomb scares last week, but noted the building has been undergoing a multi-year renovation to improve safety.

“This is not just a Jewish thing, this is an entire community thing,” Savit added. “We all have to stick together because there is no place for this anywhere, for anybody.”

“The people who carried out these actions have one purpose – to silence and intimidate members of our community. They will not succeed,” Congressman David Cicilline said in a statement.

“Rhode Islanders and people all across our country are already coming together to oppose these acts of hatred,” he continued. “We will continue to stand up to those who seek to divide us.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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