Chabad Synagogue Destroyed By Fire, Rabbi Pledges To Rebound

Chabad Synagogue Destroyed By Fire, Rabbi Pledges To Rebound

A prayer book damaged in the fire.

Miami Beach, FL

April 22, 2008

( Police and fire fighters are investigating a fire that severely damaged a Miami Beach Chabad synagogue late Monday night. The synagogue’s only Torah was stolen and all the religious objects in the shul, including all the prayer books and prayer shawls were burnt.

The night before the fire, 175 guests participated at a communal Passover seder led by Rabbi Zev Katz in the shul, a rented building. The shul typically gets about as many worshipers on Shabbos.

Miami’s Mayor Matti Herrera Bower visited the scene of the fire at 2401 Pinetree. “These are hateful crimes that we can’t tolerate here,” she said.

Speaking with, the Chabad representative was emphatic: “We’re not going to stop our shul activities. We’re going to get bigger and stronger,” in spite of the sadness by the viciousness of the destruction.

Rabbi Katz said he has no intention of closing down, not even temporarily, and is expecting 1,000 to attend Friday night services on the lot of the destroyed synagogue, in a show of support.

Rabbi Katz is appealing for help to rebound, and has set up a webpage on his website where friends can contribute.

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