Jul 8, 2009

JTA: "Vandals set fire to Masorti synagogue"

JTA: "Vandals set fire to Masorti synagogue"


JERUSALEM (JTA) -- A suspected arson fire to a Conservative synagogue in Israel caused minor damage.

Bored teens set fire to the entrance of Yedid Nefesh in Modi'in late Saturday night, police told the Jerusalem Post.

The fire came 10 days after a sign identifying the synagogue as part of the Masorti movement was affixed to the building. Police did not suspect the attack was religiously motivated.

"Municipal officials say the fire was set deliberately and we await a full investigation by the police, including a thorough examination of whether the synagogue was targeted for its Masorti affiliation," Rabbi Steve Wernick, executive vice president of United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, and Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly, said in a joint statement released Tuesday. "We expect that the culprits will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. We think it appropriate that the Israeli government provide the funds necessary to restore the entryway." 

Public funds were used for the building, which was completed more than a year ago.    

Rabbi Menachem Creditor
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