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The Puma Press

The Student News Site of University Prep

The Puma Press

The Student News Site of University Prep

The Puma Press

Temple Beth Am Receives Suspicious Package

Temple+Beth+Am+received+a+suspicious+package+on+November+5.
Photo: Teddy Bergstrom
Temple Beth Am received a suspicious package on November 5.

On Sunday, Nov. 5, Temple Beth Am received a package containing a suspicious powder. Employees placed a 911 call concerning the substance. Multiple Seattle Police Department cars, vans and Seattle Fire Department trucks arrived at the temple.

Junior Ayla Martell teaches Holocaust studies at Temple Beth Am and worked that morning.

“So I walked inside and there are two officers addressing my boss, my teacher who I teach Holocaust studies with,” Martell said. “We didn’t really get much information because they arrived at the same time the school opened. So we just didn’t really know what’s going on”

Antisemitic hate is growing in the U.S., according to the Anti-Defamation League, antisemitic incidents were up by 36% in 2022.

“It was really scary,” Martell said. “It put me on edge. It was a traumatic experience to see your space get invaded in that way.”

For Martell, it was difficult to not be able to inform her students, who are in seventh grade, about the situation.

“We haven’t had our full discussion about Hamas and all that yet,” Martell said. “So the kids don’t really like have a full understanding of what’s going on beyond what their parents have told them.”

Temple Beth Am is not the first synagogue in Seattle to receive suspicious packages. According to the Seattle Times, two Seward Park synagogues also received packages containing unknown substances in the week proceeding the substance found at Temple Beth Am.

SPD was originally handling the case but they turned the case over to the FBI. The Puma Press reached out with questions to the FBI, they responded with a statement.

“FBI Seattle, Seattle Police Department, and Seattle Fire Department responded to several suspicious letters sent to Jewish synagogues in the Seattle area, some of which contained an unknown substance. The letters were safely collected. Laboratory testing at this time has not indicated a risk to public safety.”

About the Contributor
Teddy Bergstrom, Editor-in-Chief
Teddy Bergstrom is an Editor-in-Chief of the Puma Press. He is a junior and this is his third year on staff. He loves to write opinion articles and experiential. His favorite part of journalism is covering the community and telling stories that would otherwise go unheard. Outside of school, he loves his dogs, his sister, and listening to indie folk music.