On Sunday, police in three local communities responded to bomb threats at houses of worship, raising concerns for the Jewish community amidst ongoing tensions related to the war in Israel and Gaza, according to Hingham Police.
The threats led to evacuations at synagogues in Needham and Hingham, as well as a church in Northampton, Massachusetts. Fortunately, no explosive devices were found in any of the locations.
The threat to Congregation Sha’aray Shalom in Hingham came in the form of an email, prompting an immediate response from law enforcement.
According to Boston 25 News Part of Main Street was temporarily closed as police conducted a thorough search of the synagogue with the assistance of explosive detection dogs. After about two hours, officers deemed the area safe and gave the all-clear.
Cantor Steven Weiss of Congregation Sha’aray Shalom expressed his shock at the threat but noted that in the current climate of increased antisemitism and hate incidents since October 7, such incidents were not entirely unexpected.
Unity in times of crisis
In an interview with Boston 25 News, he praised the response of the community, stating that the outpouring of support in the wake of the threats had been tremendous.
Earlier in the day, a similar bomb threat was reported at a temple in Needham, which also arrived via email. Weiss mentioned that the email provided a phone number for further information.
Hingham Police announced Sunday that they are investigating a bomb threat made to a synagogue in the area. “All affected houses and businesses have been evacuated.”
Later, they updated “A bomb threat was emailed to Congregation Sha’aray Shalom in Hingham today. The threat prompted the evacuation of several homes… No explosive devices were found… The incident remains under investigation.”