Bomb threat reported at synagogue in Wellesley

We received word from a reader and Temple Beth Elohim (TBE) member that TBE—along with other synagogues throughout the MetroWest area—had received a bomb threat this morning via email.

Temple Beth Elohim, Wellesley
Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley received a bomb threat on Sunday, Dec. 17. The threat was determined by the WPD to be a hoax.

TBE Executive Director of Administration and Operations Stephen Asjkinos provided details to the synagogue’s community about actions following the bomb threat in an email: “When we received the threat, we were preparing for our full day of learning programs. We immediately evacuated, and the Wellesley Police Department responded promptly to search and clear the building. While the threat was being evaluated, we canceled all of our morning programming” including an event to benefit Israeli artists.

After the WPD determined that a credible threat did not exist, TBE communicated plans to reopen at 4pm for afternoon programs. Information about rescheduling the art fair will follow. 

Rabbi Moshe Bleich of Wellesley Weston Chabad, located on route 9 in Wellesley, said, “Thankfully we did not get the threat. We have, though, upped the security and surveillance around Chabad. It’s a sad sign of the times.”

Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), located in Boston in the Kraft Family Building, sent out an alert to its newsletter recipients calling this morning’s bomb threats part of “a continued series of email and telephonic threats and harassment” directed at Jewish institutions—CJP says there have been over 500 such instances since summer 2023. “While there may not be an actual known threat to life safety, these threats and harassment are designed to create fear and anxiety in the Jewish community,” the charitable organization said.