JCRC Statement on Threat Directed at Beth El Synagogue
September 10, 2021 – 6:15 p.m.
Minneapolis, MN – Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement:
“During the evening of September 9, 2021, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Midwest office in Chicago received on its website a specific threat of physical violence directed at Beth El Synagogue in St. Louis Park, MN.
“JCRC staff members are in direct contact with Beth El Synagogue and its staff, local and federal law enforcement, the ADL Midwest office in Chicago, and the Secure Community Network. We thank these dedicated partners for their tireless work and support.
“This terroristic threat coming during the holiest time of the Jewish year, and days after the desecration of the Hmong Cultural Center in St. Paul, is a painful reminder that such hate and intolerance are sadly always with us. Despite this, as a Jewish community, inspired by our faith and traditions, we remain resilient (“The whole entire world is a very narrow bridge, and the main thing is to have no fear at all” – Rabbi Nachman of Breslov).
“The investigation of this incident is ongoing. We will continue to monitor the situation closely.
“We were also made aware today by law enforcement that a Jewish cemetery in St. Paul was desecrated. The JCRC is taking this incident very seriously and we are working with our law enforcement partners as they investigate. We do not know at this time if these separate incidents are related.
“We thank our local and federal law enforcement partners for their focused attention in investigating these threats.
“We also thank Governor Tim Walz for his heartfelt support of the Jewish community and for Majority Leader Ryan Winkler standing in solidarity with Beth El Synagogue and the constituents in his district.
“Earlier today, along with St. Louis Park Mayor Jake Spano and Beth El Managing Director Matt Walzer, I participated in a news conference at St. Louis Park City Hall. You can view the news conference via TC Jewfolk.”
Photo: Beth El Synagogue via RJ Ryan Construction
As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community, the JCRC fights antisemitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.