Cleveland, OH – Local police departments and the Cleveland branch of the FBI have identified the woman who left a threatening, anti-Semitic voice mail at Heights Jewish Center Synagogue in University Heights June 18.
According to a statement issued by the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, Jim Hartnett, the Federation’s director of security, was contacted June 18 by several local Jewish agencies, including Heights Jewish Center, about receiving disturbing phone calls. The Federation’s security team worked in partnership with the FBI and local police to investigate the matter.
“Law enforcement has identified the female caller and made a thorough assessment of the matter,” the Federation’s statement reads. “After researching her history, they made contact with her and deemed her non-violent and identified this as an on-going mental health issue.”
The minute-long voice mail was left shortly after 7 a.m. at Heights Jewish Center, an Orthodox shul on Cedar Road. During the message, office manager Esther Abramowitz said the woman claimed that the Jewish people were at fault for Sept. 11, that the Jews kill thousands of babies and children monthly, and that the Jewish people rape children.
“They were just totally disgusting claims,” Abramowitz said. “At the end of the message, she said that our consequences for these actions is death.”
Martin Lipman, president of Heights Jewish Center, said this is the first incident of this type that the synagogue has experienced. Lipman said the synagogue is not taking any additional precautions at this time. He added that the synagogue has been supplied with a photo of the woman so the staff knows what she looks like.
The synagogue filed a police report with the University Heights Police Department later that morning.
The Federation said it will continue to monitor the situation.