Please scroll down for updates

sfpd_squad.jpg9:57 AM: San Francisco police are responding to a bomb threat at a community center near the Presidio Heights neighborhood this morning, a police spokesman told Bay City News this morning.

An Appeal tipster says that “Bomb sniffing SF Police teams on scene at JCCSF on California and Presidio. Building sealed off.”

A police spokesperson confirmed to BCN that the “an organization housed in a building in the 3200 block of California Street received the bomb threat and reported it to police at about 8:25 a.m.”

The San Francisco Jewish Community Center is located at 3200 California.

Police evacuated the building and have blocked off an area near California Street and Presidio Avenue while they search the building.

The search was ongoing at of about 9:40 a.m. as police tried to determine if the threat had any merit, Officer Albie Esparza told BCN.

Drivers and pedestrians are being asked to stay away from the area until the situation is resolved.

Calls from the Appeal to SFPD were not returned at publication time — when we have more details, so will you.

Update 10:20 AM: SFPD spokesperson Officer Albie Esparza says that as of 10:20 AM, the area around the JCC remains taped off, and people are being encouraged to stay away.

Esparza says that at 8:26 AM today, the JCC received a bomb threat via telephone. He did not have any further details on the nature of the threat.

JCC security then called SFPD, the building was evacuated, and officers did a sweep of it.

Given the higher threat level in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s death, SFPD then opted to bring in canine units, which are now sweeping the building, “just to make sure there was nothing we missed,” says Esparza.

As of 10:20 AM, neither the officers nor the dogs had found any bombs or devices.

10:36 AM: An Appeal tipster reports that “Bomb sniffing dogs have left JCCSF after one hour. Do Not Cross tape coming down. People being let back in.”

10:48 AM: Esparza confirms our tipster’s report, saying that the evacuation’s been lifted and that “nothing was found.”

11:23 AM (Janna Brancolini, Bay City News):Several hundred people were evacuated from the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco in Laurel Heights this morning following a bomb threat that appears to have been without merit, officials said.

The center runs a fitness center, a preschool, and youth and adult classes, and a number of activities were under way when the threat came in by phone, spokesman Nathaniel Bergson-Michelson said.

Staff reported the threat to police at about 8:25 a.m. and evacuated the building.

“We take any call like that extremely seriously,” Bergson-Michelson said.

Officers and K-9 units searched the building, located at 3200 California St., until about 10:45 a.m. but didn’t find anything suspicious, Officer Albie Esparza said.

Police blocked off the area near California Street and Presidio Avenue during the search.
It was unclear this afternoon where the call came from or why it was made.

The caller phoned a general number and did not say anything to suggest the reason for the threat, Bergson Michelson said.

The center has received bomb threats in the past, but none recently.

Today’s call was brief and appeared to have been an isolated incident, Bergson-Michelson said.

“It’s not a common occurrence,” he said.

Want more news, sent to your inbox every day? Then how about subscribing to our email newsletter? Here’s why we think you should. Come on, give it a try.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!