Bomb threat called in to Jewish Association for the Aged in Brooklyn

MIDWOOD, Brooklyn (WABC) -- The Jewish Association for the Aged in Brooklyn was evacuated Friday morning after receiving a bomb threat.

Police began shutting down a long block of Coney Island Avenue in the Midwood section Friday morning after the threat was texted to JASA. After an investigation, the threat was ruled to not be credible.

"We were in the building, and one of the coworkers heard there was a bomb threat," said Diana Marin, who works in the building. "And we were told to evacuate the building."

The threat was sent to a staff member who works at the JASA office, said Russell Nislow, assistant district director for Brooklyn.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed that the center was secure.

"The NYPD's investigation into the threat at the Jewish Association Serving the Aging is ongoing, but the location has been deemed safe," he said.

The threat resulted in shutting down the center for several hours so police could investigate.

"You get threats every time," employee Russell Zukin said. "It's pretty typical. Eventually you just get desensitized to it."

Workers were allowed back into the building after a couple of hours.

"It's kind of scary, telling everyone to evacuate because it's a bomb threat," Marin said. "But all the things that have been going on these days, you have to be very careful."

The latest threat comes as state and city leaders announce an increase in reward from $5,000 to $20,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction of a hate crime.

Friday's incident follows a recent uptick in reported hate crimes and anti-Semitism, including bomb threats this week at the Jewish Children's Museum in Brooklyn and at the Anti-Defamation League in Manhattan. More than 100 alleged hate crimes have been reported since the beginning of the year.

Cuomo condemned the JASA threat on Friday and said he wanted an investigation, combining federal, local and state law enforcement.

"By threatening a place that serves our most vulnerable New Yorkers, this is a particularly appalling incident in the recent wave of hate and anti-Semitism that has afflicted our communities," he said.

JASA works with seniors to keep them living safely and independently in their own homes.

New Yorkers can report bias or discrimination at the state's toll-free hotline at (888) 392-3644 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday - Friday or text "HATE" to 81336.
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