Bomb threat Sunday forces Florence synagogue to be evacuated

Northampton’s Bombyx Center for Arts & Equity, which also serves as a synagogue and congregational church, was evacuated on Sunday as part of a series of bomb threats made against places of worship across the commonwealth.

Northampton’s Bombyx Center for Arts & Equity, which also serves as a synagogue and congregational church, was evacuated on Sunday as part of a series of bomb threats made against places of worship across the commonwealth.

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

Staff Writer

Published: 11-20-2023 5:52 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Northampton’s Bombyx Center for Arts & Equity, which also serves as a synagogue and congregational church, had to be evacuated on Sunday as part of a series of bomb threats made against places of worship across the commonwealth.

According to Northampton Police Capt. Victor Caputo, the threat for the center came in at about 12:18 p.m. for Beit Ahavah, a reform synagogue located at 130 Pine St., an address it shares with Bombyx and the Florence Congregational Church. Massachusetts State Police were deployed to the center following the threat, Caputo said.

The center at the time was hosting a musical concert performed by the Fiddle Orchestra of Western Massachusetts, and had to be evacuated as the bomb squad entered the building. Once the place was cleared, people were allowed to reenter the building and gather their things.

The threat was one of several bomb threats sent to Jewish places of worship in Massachusetts on Sunday. Threats had also been at Congregation Sha’aray Shalom in Hingham and at Temple Beth Shalom in Needham, both in the eastern part of the state. All threats turned out to be unfounded.

Caputo said the threat at Bombyx remains under investigation.

Alexander MacDougall can be reached at amacdougall@gazettenet.com.

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