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False Bomb Reported at Moscow Shul As Community Worries About Security

Moscow police recently received a phony threat about a bomb at Moscow’s historic Choral Synagogue.

The warning came in wake of terrorist attacks on Jewish and Israeli targets in Buenos Aires and London and at first raised apprehensions here.

But the bomb squad that arrived at the synagogue on Arkhipova Street at 2 a.m. on July 27 found no explosive devices, said Igor Yaro-slavsky, the synagogue’s executive director.

Nervousness took hold for a short while, as the squad thought it had only 25 minutes to prevent a bomb from exploding. But a thorough search turned up no explosive devices.

Despite greatly increased security at Jewish sites and Israeli embassies around the world, Yaroslavsky said the Moscow synagogue had not taken any new security precautions.

“We want to but we don’t have the money,” he said.

At the Israeli Embassy here, Alexander Ben-Zvi, the charge d’affaires, said they had increased protection with assistance from the Russian government.

“We are taking measures, taking precautions, and we have asked our hosts to help us with that,” he said.

A staff member in the office of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the funding organization that has close contact with most of Moscow’s Jewish groups, said she had not received word of any other bomb threats, nor of any other organizations that have made special efforts to increase security.

“Touch wood, we haven’t had any problems,” the staffer said.

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