Christian churches commit to raising funds for Jewish Center security upgrades

Levite Jewish Community Center

A group of Christian churches in Birmingham said it will raise $100,000 for security upgrades at the Levite Jewish Community Center, which has received multiple bomb threats this year.

So far, the Scott Dawson Evangelistic Association, The Center for Executive Leadership, Young Business Leaders, Lifework Leadership, JH Ranch, Alliance Ministries, and the National Christian Foundation of Alabama have signed on to the plan.

Each of those organizations have offered between $5,000 and $10,000 to help the community center with security upgrades.

Center leaders say the total cost of the upgrades could reach $1 million

“We all want to live in safety and have freedom for everybody to exercise their faith,” said Scott Dawson, who heads up the ministry bearing his name.

One of the groups, the National Christian Foundation of Alabama, will forward donations tagged “JCC-SECURITY” on to the center, and will send an IRS-mandated receipt to donors sending in $250 or more.

Checks can be made payable to NCF/Alabama and mailed to 400 Office Park Drive, Birmingham, AL 35223. The group also accepts online donations through its website.

By March 6 the community center had received three phoned in bomb threats, leading center members to hold a town hall last week to soothe concerns of parents with children in the center’s pre-school and day school programs.

The following day, the center received its fourth bomb threat of 2017.

In each of the cases, no explosives were found, though the threats required the center to evacuate while law enforcement swept the building.

The majority of children enrolled in the center’s pre-school program are not Jewish, and the center also holds a physical fitness program that is open to the public.