Crime Law

Jewish community on alert after fifth Seattle synagogue receives ‘suspicious package’

SEATTLE — Another suspicious package was found at a Seattle synagogue on Saturday night, prompting a HazMat response.

This time it was found at the Chabad of Capitol Hill & Central Area. It marks at least the fifth time it’s happened this month.

Other suspicious packages were found at three Seattle synagogues on November 3 and another on November 6.

“We’re coming back from synagogue, and we noticed a package sticking out. Kind of didn’t think twice. We don’t really go through our mail on the Sabbath,” said Rabbi Levi Leviton, who runs Chabad of Capitol Hill & Central Area.

That’s when Rabbi Leviton had a gut feeling that something was wrong. He decided to check in with other synagogues in the area.

“It was something similar that was sent to other Jewish organizations in the last couple of weeks so I called it in,” he said.

He did not want to share a photo of the package but described it as a large envelope.

“It was a big envelope, like that. Fully taped to the sides. A lot of words, a lot of stamps, a lot of weird things on it,” he explained.

Seattle Police said it’s very similar to other packages sent to Jewish organizations this month.

“It’s very disturbing that either this individual or group, we don’t know who it is… given the rise of antisemitism in America and the world,” said Rabbi Leviton.

It’s a troubling trend but Rabbi Leviton said it will not get in the way of worship.

“This will not deter us in any way. We are a nation. We celebrate Judaism, we celebrate our Judaism, we will continue to do so,” he said.

It is still unknown what’s been inside of these suspicious packages, but Seattle Fire HazMat said it was not hazardous.

Seattle Police and the FBI are investigating.

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