HINGHAM, Mass. — Police in three local communities responded to bomb threats at houses of worship Sunday.
They evacuated synagogues in Needham and Hingham....and a church in Northampton.
Nothing was found but there are heightened concerns for the Jewish community due to the war in Israel and Gaza.
The bomb threat toward Congregation Sha’aray Shalom came in an email. It prompted police to even shut down part of Main Street for part of the afternoon.
Boston 25 News spoke with one of the leaders here who says the response from the community has been tremendous.
“Honestly we were shocked but not entirely surprised,” said Cantor Steven Weiss.
He was home when he received the call. The rabbi at Congregation Sha’aray Shalom had just checked the email and one was a threat. It said pipe bombs were in the building.
Police evacuated a couple of people still at the synagogue. Folks in several nearby homes were also told to leave.
“Of course, my heart was beating,” said Valerie Rooney. “There was a little panic getting out of here for sure.”
Workers at Weston Nurseries across the street were told to stay back too. A portion of Main Street was closed as explosive detection dogs went through the building. about two hours later officers gave the all-clear.
Earlier in the day, a Needham temple reported a similar e-mailed bomb threat. Cantor Weiss said at the end it gave a phone number to call for more information.
“You would not expect something to happen like this in a place like Higham but there’s lots of hate out there right now and seems like since October 7 anti-Semitism and hate has increased,” Cantor Weiss said.
He says as news of what happened spread, the support from the entire community is helping make sure hate does not win.
“The outpouring we have heard in just the last few hours just been tremendous,” said Cantor Weiss.
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