JCC plans unity rally in response to bomb threat

JCC responds to email threat with unity rally

(WHAS11) -- The Jewish Community Center of Louisville is fighting hate with love after the facility received a bomb threat earlier this week.

The incident is not unique to the JCC in Louisville as JCCs across the country have recently been getting similar threatening emails.  But the JCC of Louisville is responding in a powerful way, with a unity rally where everyone's invited to stand together on Sunday.

It was the hectic scene outside the JCC of Louisville on Wednesday after the bomb threat via email came in.  Now, two days later, JCC President and CEO Sara Wagner is reflecting on the incident here at home and the nation-wide trend of threats against Jewish communities.

“It's really disconcerting and it's sad that someone wants to upset the daily business of what's going on here,” said Wagner.

The response that day was an immediate evacuation of the building with the help of Louisville Metro Police, Metro EMS, Louisville Fire, and even some federal investigators.  The scene was quickly cleared but the response from the community hasn't stopped.

“People have asked what they can do in addition to social media people have even been generous with their dollars and sent in donations which we're channeling to our safety and security fund here,” said Wagner.

The outpouring of support prompted JCC leaders to organize the unity rally, set for Sunday afternoon, where people from across the community are invited to come together.

“It's about what's going on in JCCs across the country but it's also about the rise of anti-Semitism, the rise of bigotry, the rise of hate, racism in general...” said Wagner.

Wagner says she wants people from all different religions, races and backgrounds to join forces and send a strong message to those trying to disrupt the peace.  Actions speak louder than words and anonymous emails threats and she says over the past two days this city has taken compassionate action.  For instance, on Thursday, a member of the Muslim community paid her a special visit.

“He made a trip here to the JCC just to see me because he wanted to make sure everything was ok,” said Wagner.

Wagner says Sunday's unity rally is meant to show solidarity for the JCC here in Louisville and for all JCC's across the country dealing with the anti-Semitic threats.  The rally is set for 3:30 on the steps of the JCC.

It's planned for a half hour with a few speakers and appearances by local and state leaders as well as different faith leaders.

As for the investigation into the email threat, Wagner says it's ongoing and now in the hands of federal investigators.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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