Hazmat Crews Investigate Envelopes at Two Institutions

(Provided by Shomrim of Baltimore)

Hazmat crews were called to two Jewish institutions in Baltimore on Monday afternoon.

EMS and hazmat were on-site and evaluated two adults at Beth El Congregation in Pikesville after they described feeling ill after opening an envelope.

A photograph of the envelope sent to Beth El Congregation shows a postmark from Dallas, Texas, on Dec. 11.

Neither of the patients were transported to local hospitals and the Beth El building, which had 33 staff members and 78 students inside, was not evacuated Monday, according to the Baltimore County Fire Department.

“Hazmat crews are scanning building w meters for chemicals and gases; nothing significant has been detected,” the department tweeted.

Hazmat was also called to 4398 Crest Heights Road in Baltimore, where Mesivta Ne’imus HaTorah and Beth Isaac Adath Israel Congregation are located.

“It was a call for a suspicious envelope. We found nothing and there were no patients at all in that,” said Elise Armacost, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore County Fire Department.

Eyal Bor, the director of education at Beth El Congregation, was at a funeral when the incident took place at his synagogue, but was assured before he returned to work that everything was under control.

“When I came from the funeral, still in the car, they told me everything was clear,” said Bor. “We gave the parents the choice to come pick up their kids if they wanted to, but we are all back in the class.”

Baltimore City Councilman Isaac “Yitzy” Schleifer (D-District 5) said the envelopes had religious materials in them and were nothing out of the ordinary.

“Each time there’s a suspicious package or letter at any institution, we have hazmat going location to location,” he said. “They’ll test the letters. So far all the letters have come back negative. It’s just a brochure, but obviously we use extreme caution and we get every single thing checked out.”

Marc Shapiro contributed to this report.


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