Following an incident Monday in which a Cherry Hill Jewish community center was evacuated after receiving a bomb threat, Democrats in southern New Jersey are condemning the threats and calling on the federal government to provide dedicated security funding to vulnerable communities and institutions.
The threats come after vandals overturned headstones at Mount Carmel Jewish Cemetery in Philadelphia. U.S. Representative Donald Norcross called for the areas of the state to receive a greater share of anti-terrorism dollars.
“This weekend’s vandalism of Mount Carmel Jewish Cemetery and today’s bomb threat against the Katz Jewish Community Center aren’t just attacks on our friends and neighbors in the Jewish community – they’re attacks against all of us. Christians, Muslims and Jews are standing together to take a stand against this hatred – it has no place here or anywhere in America,” Norcross said.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency currently offers funding to the Philadelphia metropolitan area, but the bulk of those funds go to the city and not its surrounding suburbs. Norcross is requesting that the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, which administers that funding, share the money with local governments in South Jersey.
“Unfortunately, federal funds to protect our area and Jewish communities from terrorism aren’t being shared with South Jersey. Antisemitism doesn’t stop at the state line – nor should funding to combat these threats. In light of these crimes, I’m urging the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency to share security funding with all of the area’s vulnerable communities,” Norcross continued.
Assembly Speaker Lou Greenwald and Deputy Speaker Pamela Lampitt, both of whom represent southern districts, also condemned the attack in a joint statement.
“This morning bomb threats were reported at the Katz JCC here in Cherry Hill and at Jewish community centers in eight states across the nation. These threats were taken seriously, as entire centers were evacuated and police were brought to the scene,” the statement read.