January 22, 2021
Synagogues in Washington, D.C., are receiving a fake letter purported to be signed by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris warning them to close or they will go to prison.
"Myself and President Joe Biden, will shut down your Synagogue of worship and place heavy fines upon your religious institution," said the letter, according to an alert distributed Tuesday to Jewish institutions by Secure Community Network, the national Jewish group that advises institutions on security.
"We will be in control in two weeks and we will shut you down," says the letter, which has a postmark from Albany, New York. "This is your fair warning from me. [Washington] Mayor Muriel Bowser will have the authority from myself and President Biden to shut you down and take you to prison if you decide to open your doors."
The letter writer appears to hope to exploit anger by some Jewish institutions, especially among the Orthodox, at restrictions on in-person religious services.
Recipients have alerted law enforcement about the letter, according to SCN.
"At this time, SCN is not aware of any specific, credible threats as it pertains to this document," the notice said.