JACKSON, Miss.—Worshippers at Beth Israel Congregation, Mississippi’s largest Jewish synagogue, are looking to move forward after someone emailed a bomb threat to the temple on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023. Beth Israel Congregation Rabbi Joseph Rosen said on Dec. 18 that he suspected the threat was tied to heightened anti-semitism stemming from the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine.
Rosen said he was headed to the synagogue the morning of Dec. 17 when he got a call from a member of their admin team about the threatening email.
“We had to act quickly and decisively to cancel all our events for the day and a few board members worked with law enforcement to conduct a sweep of the building,” Rosen said. “The FBI told us it wasn’t a credible threat. It’s still a scary situation but a calm ending.”
“It’s a difficult reality to grapple with but I’m thankful for my congregation reaching out to each other to provide comfort and support and many of our inter-faith friends have done so as well. That’s been really important at this time,” Rosen said.
Beth Israel Congregation leadership sent correspondence to their congregation on Dec. 17 to let them know of the threat and to cancel services.
“This morning Beth Israel Congregation received an emailed bomb threat. Out of an abundance of caution, synagogue leadership decided to cancel today’s on-site programming,” Beth Israel Congregation shared through a statement on Dec. 17. “Since we received the threat we have been in constant communication with local and federal law enforcement, whose current assessment is that this threat is non-credible. We’re grateful to them for their swift action in ensuring our community’s safety,” the statement continues.
Perhaps no one in Mississippi knows better than to take such bomb threats seriously than Mississippi’s Jewish community, as a historic marker in front of the synagogue on Old Canton Road attests.
Punished for ‘Repairing the World’
The Beth Israel synagogue on Old Canton Road in Jackson, Miss., was fortunately empty at 10:40 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 18, 1967, when a bomb exploded, destroying its administrative offices. Authorities said then
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