St. Paul Jewish Community Center evacuated following bomb threat

Updated 1 p.m. | Published 11 a.m.

The St. Paul Jewish Community Center has reopened, with increased security, following a phoned-in bomb threat Monday morning.

St. Paul Police say they did not find any bombs or dangerous devices at the center in Highland Park. A little after noon, squads began clearing the scene.

The center houses offices, a fitness center and an early child care program. People inside the building were evacuated to a nearby fire station.

In an earlier statement to members, CEO Michael Waldman said, "we have safely evacuated the building. All members and staff are safely accounted for. At this time, no one is allowed in the building."

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The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas released a statement saying four Jewish community centers across the U.S. received threats on Monday. And the JCRC is working closely with law enforcement and "appreciates their quick response to this incident."

St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman and council member Chris Tolbert say 190 children and their caregivers were evacuated.

"While no one was physically hurt, we know that it will take time for you and your children to feel safe," they said in a written statement. "Know that your safety is our top priority and our law enforcement personnel will remain vigilant in the days and weeks ahead as we seek out those responsible."

Last month, a similar phoned-in bomb threat closed a Jewish community center in St. Louis Park, where an elementary school operates. A search of that scene turned up nothing suspicious.

Dozens of other Jewish facilities around the country have experienced similar incidents in recent weeks.