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Published on April 19, 2024
FBI Warns of Uptick in Anti-Semitic Threats as Passover Nears, Cherry Hill's Katz Center Bolsters SecuritySource: Wikipedia/Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

As Jewish families prepare for Passover, the FBI is ramping up its vigilance, citing an alarming spike in potential threats looming over the holiday.  the FBI's Director, issued a stark warning to Jewish community security officials, noting a concerning increase in anti-Semitic occurrences.

Adding to the anxiety, a recent report by the Anti-Defamation League highlighted over 8800 anti-Semitic incidents last year, marking a harrowing record. Speaking to the pressing need for vigilance was Bud Monaghan, head of JFed Security, who laid out the escalated security measures at the Katz Jewish Community Center in Cherry Hill. Monaghan, having a background as Cherry Hill's former Police Chief, oversees a comprehensive protection strategy that, according to a Fox29 interview, includes retired officers, active shooter training, and a robust surveillance system extending from New Jersey to Delaware.

With the FBI's heightened alert across the nation, Director Wray called upon Jewish facilities to fortify their defenses against possible lone wolf terror during Passover. He emphasized the seriousness of the situation, explaining, "We at the Bureau remain particularly concerned that lone actors that could target large gatherings, high profile events or symbolic or religious locations for violence," Wray mentioned in remarks echoed by Fox29.

Meanwhile, in New Jersey, the influx of hate-related episodes has doubled, a troubling statistic reported by the ADL and acknowledged by CNN. Further complicating the threat landscape, Wray also flagged down state-sponsored dangers, particularly from Iran. Following Iran's missile salvo on Israel last week, the FBI director advised global and domestic partners to "stay vigilant" against the clear menace possessed by Iran and its affiliates. This response is a reaction to a suspected Israeli air-strike on an Iranian complex in Syria, as asserted by Wray. The FBI's call for preparedness stretches beyond the U.S., reflecting a tense geopolitical chess game that has diaspora communities inadvertently ensnared in its play.