Published: Wed, May 17, 2017
Entertaiment | By Minnie Bishop

Amid rising anti-Semitism, a synagogue burns in Manhattan

Amid rising anti-Semitism, a synagogue burns in Manhattan

In NY there was a large fire in the oldest synagogue in Beth Ha-Midrash ha-Gadol, which is located in Manhattan.

The fire at the Beth Hamedrash Hagadol synagogue broke out on Sunday evening and burned for several hours.

It took firefighters nearly two hours to get it under control. No civilians were rescued from the building, and no civilian injuries were reported. An eyewitness corroborated the report, telling fire officials he saw three people fleeing the synagogue as the fire began.

Built in 1850 as a Baptist church, the building was purchased in 1885 to become the first Eastern European congregation founded in New York City and served Russian Jews.

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Representatives from the New York Fire Department told ThinkProgress the cause of the fire remains under investigation, and it is unclear if the building was subject to arson or set aflame in another fashion.

In 2007, the synagogue closed, its building badly deteriorated, with congregation members recently trying to raise the necessary funds to restore the building. "We are in touch with law enforcement, who are actively investigating the blaze, and we will continue to monitor the situation as it proceeds". The building was declared a city landmark in 1967.

The Gothic-style building was empty at the time of the fire.

"Everybody's in shock", Greenbaum, whose father-in-law was rabbi for many decades before him told the Lo-Down.

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