Jewish schools, JCCs in 2 Florida cities evacuated following bomb threats


(JTA) — Jewish schools in two Florida cities were evacuated after receiving bomb threats.

The Meyer Academy in Palm Beach Gardens, in South Florida, was evacuated Tuesday morning after police responded to a threat there. The threat also forced the evacuation of the Mandel Jewish Community Center located next door, according to reports.

Students and employees were sent home for the day.

In Maitland, near Orlando in central Florida, preschool and elementary students at the Jewish Academy of Orlando were evacuated to a nearby public elementary school after a bomb threat was called in at about 10 a.m. The public school also was locked down as a precaution, according to local media. Parents were informed to come and pick up their children.

The caller said he wanted to hurt as many children as possible, Maitland Police Lt. Louis Grindle told Orange County television station WFTV.

The Roth Family JCC, the Holocaust Center and the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando, which all share a campus with the school, also were evacuated and closed for the day, according to the federation, which issued a statement following the incident.

Normal operations were to resume Wednesday. Police officials did not find explosives in any of the evacuated buildings in both cities.

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