Anti-Semitic threats raise security concerns for Sweden’s Jews, prompt JCC closure


( Following the closure of the Judisk Föreningen JCC in Umea, Sweden, due to numerous threats and anti-Semitic vandalism, Jewish organizations have called on Swedish authorities to bolster security for the country’s Jewish population. 

A bus stop in Umea, Sweden. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The JCC closed its doors Sunday after a series of anti-Semitic incidents and threats against its members.

Swedish media reported the center had been vandalized with swastikas and the threatening message, “We know where you live.” Jewish community members also had their cars smashed, and one local Jew received threatening emails.

“Too many things have happened lately which means that Jewish parents don’t feel safe having their kids at the schools,” Umea Jewish Association spokesperson Carinne Sjöberg told the Swedish public broadcaster SVT.

According to Sjöberg, the neo-Nazi group Nordfront was behind the anti-Semitic incidents. Sjöberg said she was an initial target of the hate group before it began targeting other Jewish community members. 

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed concern Tuesday over the Umea JCC closure, and sent a letter on the subject to Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven.

“This incident should be a catalyst to ensure that every Jewish community in Sweden both is secure and has a sense of security to live openly and freely as Jews,” said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.

Posted on April 4, 2017 .