Threat to South Side Jewish community center was unfounded

SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE - A bomb threat called in to a Jewish community center in the South Side Hyde Park neighborhood Monday morning was unfounded, authorities said.

The Hyde Park JCC received a phoned-in bomb threat about 10 a.m., according to an emailed statement from CEO Alan Sataloff.

The building was evacuated and searched by law enforcement, and the all-clear was given at 11:45 a.m., Sataloff said.

Chicago Police confirmed they searched the building in the 5200 block of South Hyde Park Boulevard and the threat was not bona fide.

During the school year, the center serves as an enrichment center for recreation and community partnerships, Sataloff said. A School’s Out program happening was already on their field trip when the threat was called in.

“While today is another instance of threats directed at JCCs across the county, none have been substantiated,” Sataloff said. “This is a difficult time for our community and we assure you that JCC Chicago locations are safe, and that we are open and operating as usual.”

Mayor Rahm Emanuel issued a statement calling the recent wave of threats “cowardly,” and “an affront to our most basic American values and shared sense of human decency.”

“Threats against any American are a threat to every American,” Emanuel said. “Our country was founded on religious freedom and Americans of every faith have helped build, secure and defend the United States throughout our history.”