On Monday, Irvine’s Merage Jewish Community Center was among the dozens of Jewish facilities across the country to receive bomb threats in recent days. The bomb scare in Irvine caused evacuation of an estimated 1,000 people from the JCC and Tarbut V’Torah, the adjacent Jewish School.
Irvine Police and Orange County Sheriff’s emergency personnel were dispatched to the Center, bringing bomb-sniffing dogs and bomb-detection equipment. While no bombs or explosives were found, the incident left the community on edge.
At Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, Mayor Donald Wagner read a formal statement to the Irvine community. He said, “The City Council and I stand unambiguously with our Jewish friends and residents in condemnation of this hate crime here in Irvine, and the similar crimes that plagued America yesterday and in the past.” He added, “There is no place in Irvine for bigotry and discrimination. All are welcome.”
The Irvine Police Department continues to investigate the incident, while increasing patrols and other security measures to protect the Jewish Community Center and other institutions in Irvine that may be the target of threats or actual violence.