Threatening call made to Jewish Community Center


According to police, an unknown caller phoned the center, located at 3200 California St., Monday evening and threatened to shoot Jewish people. No arrests were made and an investigation is ongoing.

JCC spokesman Nathaniel Bergson-Michelson this morning confirmed a threatening call was received, but said it was not believed to have been serious.

"The nature of the call really suggests that it was a prank call," Bergson-Michelson said. "At this time we do not believe that there is a likely security risk, however we are taking heightened security measures, as a precautionary measure."

According to police spokeswoman Lt. Lyn Tomioka, a female JCC employee answered the phone at about 6:30 p.m. and was asked by a male caller about purchasing a gym membership.

"He told her that his ancestry was German, and asked if he would be welcome there because of that," Tomioka said.

The woman responded that all were welcome at the community center, and the caller said he had a brother who was also interested, Tomioka said.

A second male caller got on the phone, asked the same question and received the same answer.

"And then he made an inappropriate sexual comment" to the woman, who did not know how to respond, Tomioka said. "He went on and made threatening comments about coming in with guns and shooting Jewish people, and then hung up the phone," she said.

"We get people calling in and saying strange things every now and then," Bergson-Michelson said.

The JCC of San Francisco has about 4,500 visitors each day, according to Bergson-Michelson.

"We take it seriously, because threats were made," said Tomioka. "You can't threaten people's lives and assume that we're not going to do anything."

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