Recent bomb threats prompt reflection on The Temple Bombing of 1 - CBS46 News

Recent bomb threats prompt reflection on The Temple Bombing of 1958

Posted: Updated:
CBS46 anchor Sharon Reed and Janice Rothschild Blumberg, 93, discuss the 1958 Temple Bombing and today’s racial climate in the wake of the recent bomb threats against Jewish organizations. CBS46 anchor Sharon Reed and Janice Rothschild Blumberg, 93, discuss the 1958 Temple Bombing and today’s racial climate in the wake of the recent bomb threats against Jewish organizations.
CBS46 anchor Sharon Reed interviews Janice Rothschild Blumberg, 93, about the 1958 Temple Bombing. Blumberg’s husband, Rabbi Jacob Rothschild, was a Rabbi during the bombing. Blumberg is still a member at The Temple. CBS46 anchor Sharon Reed interviews Janice Rothschild Blumberg, 93, about the 1958 Temple Bombing. Blumberg’s husband, Rabbi Jacob Rothschild, was a Rabbi during the bombing. Blumberg is still a member at The Temple.
ATLANTA (CBS46) -

The recent threat against the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta is part of a disturbing rise in anti-Semitism that is not new to Atlanta.

The city's oldest synagogue was bombed 58 years ago.

Janice Rothschild Blumberg sat down with CBS46 to recall that fateful event, when her husband served as a rabbi during that time.

For Blumberg, 93, news of the recent bomb threats is like history repeating itself.

Blumberg remembers when her husband, Rabbi Jacob Rothschild, learned white supremacists had bombed his synagogue - The Temple.

“All of this is fresh in my mind,” she said. “I saw him grabbing a sports shirt, and I said, 'Put on a coat and tie, there may be reporters' and he roared at me.”

After a fuss the Rabbi listened to his wife and posed for an iconic photo that made national headlines.

“It's a picture of Mayor Hartsfield and the Rabbi kneeling down and examining some of the rubble,” Blumberg said.

No one was hurt and no one was ever convicted of the crime.

“Even though things look very, very bad when you see the manifestations of hatred coming out,” said Blumberg. “I think we also see that there's, I believe, more of a basis for stability and understanding than we had in those days.”

The Temple would rebuild under Rabbi Rothschild's guidance.

The civil rights activist would later forge a relationship with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Blumberg shares with me the moment she realized how deep racism ran in Atlanta.

It was 1960 when Dr. King and his wife, Coretta, got lost on their way over for dinner. To get directions, Mrs. King pretended she was on her way to serve at a party.

“I didn't realize then that if you were a person of color and you were in Buckhead after dark and you didn't have on a chauffeur's cap, you better explain what you were doing there,” Blumberg said.

Peter Berg is currently the senior Rabbi at The Temple.

This year alone, there have been more than 100 threats made to more than 100 Jewish groups across the country.

At least 5 right here in Georgia.

“We don't know necessarily why there's such a huge uptick of anti-Semitism in recent years,” Berg said.

He declined to discuss security measures, but says while his congregation is concerned, they remain vigilant in fighting anti-Semitism.

“Social justice has always been at the root of who we are and what we do,” said Berg. “After all of the years, and so many people who have literally tried to decimate the Jewish people and wipe them off the map, we're still here, we're still strong.”

Blumberg said we’ve forgotten some of the lessons of the past.

“Things have gotten better, so when they get better we think, 'Oh we're on the road, that's fine I'll sit back, but we need to keep doing it,” she said.

Copyright 2017 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

Connect with CBS46