Threats to Jewish community ‘horrible and destructive,’ Baker says

By Matt Murphy, State House News Service

One day after three institutions were evacuated in Massachusetts due to a multi-state wave of bomb threats, Gov. Charlie Baker called continued threats against Jewish community organizations around the country “horrible and destructive.”

“I thank God that so far it's just been threats and not anything more than that, although there are definitely incidents of, sort of, isolated incidents of small acts of violence against people because of their religious persuasion,” Baker said at a press conference Wednesday.

According to reports, two schools – the Solomon Schechter Day School in Newton and MetroWest Jewish Day School at Temple Beth Sholom in Framingham – and the Anti-Defamation League's New England offices in Boston were the targets of bomb threats Tuesday morning.

No bombs were found, but the phoned threats marked another escalation of the recent spate of anti-Semitic activity around the country that has included the desecration of cemeteries and other acts of hatred.

Baker, who attended an event with FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday, said he did not speak with him about the Massachusetts incidents, but his administration has been in touch and is working with the FBI.

“There's no excuse for this. There's no reason for it. It's horrible and destructive and we will work collaboratively with our colleagues in law enforcement to do everything we can to make sure that people can safely and securely and enthusiastically practice their faith here in the Commonwealth,” Baker said.