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Calling For Federal Investigation, Portman Condemns Threats To Jewish Centers

Jewish Community Center of Columbus
Senator Rob Portman meets with Ohio businessman Bruce Soll at the JCC of Columbus.

In the last two months, over 100 Jewish centers across the country have received bomb threats, including the Jewish Community Center of Columbus. On Friday, Senator Rob Portman visited with leaders of Ohio's Jewish community to condemn these attacks as un-American and call for a firm response.

Portman says he's drafted a letter to the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice asking that investigations into the rash of anti-Semitic attacks be made a priority.

"[I'm] talking about this more broadly as a threat and an attack on our values as country," Portman said. "The values of tolerance. The values of diversity." 

Portman hopes the letter will receive support from every member of the Senate.

Carol Folkerth, of the Jewish Community Center of Columbus, was one of several leaders of the Ohio Jewish community to meet with Portman. She says local and federal law enforcement have been incredibly supportive in the aftermath of the bomb threat her center received in February.

"Our JCC has received tremendous support from the Franklin County Sheriff Department and the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, Columbus Police Department," Folkerth said.

Folkerth was one of many leaders at the meeting to express an interest in increasing the federal funding available to all non-profit religious centers, as well as secular non-profit centers.

Portman says this funding would help pay for additional security, like cameras and security guards.