Eighteen Jewish Community Centers in New York State and one in New Jersey have received threats via email, according to MetroWest JCC CEO Dov Ben-Shimon.

Ben-Shimon, whose MetroWest center in West Orange was the lone New Jersey center threatened, said the FBI, Homeland Security and local police assessed the threat along with their national office and concluded the messages were not credible.

The JCC in Albany, New York was evacuated then declared safe, according to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a message on his Twitter account.

A USA Today story cited New York officials also putting the number of threatened JCC locations at 18 in their state, and saying the messages appeared to be part of a broader series threatening JCCs nationwide.

The CEO suggested that getting involved with JCC activities and centers around the state as a response to the threats.

"Know how communities thrive and beat terrorism and threats and evil? By showing up. By being there. By not being intimidated. Facebook won’t create community for us," Ben Shimon wrote on his Facebook page.

Sunday's threat came as the NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness announced it was raising its assessment of the threat posed by white supremacist extremists from moderate to high in 2020, saying the supremacists join homegrown violent extremists as the most persistent hostile actors in New Jersey.

There were also two separate recent incidents of vandalism in the Lakewood area where swastikas were spray painted at Jewish owned businesses in Howell and Jackson.  Township resident Virginia Mailloux, 40, was arrested in the Jackson incident.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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