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Portland Jewish Center Receives Bomb Threat

The Mittleman Jewish Community Center in Southwest Portland received a bomb threat, following a string of similar incidents in other cities.

The Mittleman Jewish Community Center in Southwest Portland received a bomb threat, following a string of similar incidents in other cities.

Rob Manning/OPB

Portland police said Tuesday they are investigating a bomb threat at a Jewish community center in Portland’s southwest hills.

The Mittleman Jewish Community Center and Portland Jewish Academy, in the city’s Hillsdale neighborhood, received an anonymous threat Monday night.

Sgt. Pete Simpson said officers responded around 8:30 p.m., walked through buildings with the center staff, and found no evidence of an actual explosive device.

“Investigators don’t want to reveal the specific information about how the information was received, other than to say it was not received in person,” Simpson said.

He added the agency is working with federal authorities to figure out if the Mittleman threat is connected to a series of recent threats to Jewish centers nationally.

Administrators at the Portland Jewish Academy released a statement Tuesday to update parents. It identified the threatening message as an email.

“As you know, many JCC’s around the nation have received bomb threats in recent weeks,” the statement said. “We are working with the FBI to bring those responsible for these threats to justice.”

Simpson said police had already increased patrols around synagogues and community centers following threats in other cities. He said the Portland Police Bureau is reviewing what it’s doing to maintain security around Jewish facilities.

Federal officials count at least 120 threats against Jewish facilities in the last few weeks. All 100 U.S. senators have signed a letter to senior Trump administration officials, calling for “swift action” against the threats. 

The threats at the Jewish center in Southwest Portland are just one example of messages directed at specific populations in the area.

Several Portland-area public schools have also drawn homophobic and racist messages in recent days.

Lake Oswego High School students walked out of school Tuesday morning in opposition to racist messages at the suburban school. Students at Grant High School are speaking out against anti-gay messages that appeared in a school bathroom recently.

Going back several months, Oregon students have also experienced racist or xenophobic incidents at high schools in Forest Grove and Oregon City.

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