Firefighters put out blaze at New York synagogue

Five lightly injured in conflagration at Kehilath Jeshurun temple on Upper East Side; structure seriously damaged.

By GIL STERN STERN SHEFLER
July 12, 2011 09:55
1 minute read.
New York City skyline.

new york skyline. (photo credit: Gary Hershorn / Reuters)

 
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NEW YORK – Fire fighters battled to put out a blaze that erupted at a synagogue in the Upper East Side on Monday night injuring five people and causing serious damage to the building.

The conflagration broke out at Kehilat Jeshurun shul located on 125 East 85 Street between Lexington and Park avenues around 8:30 p.m., and was put out about two hours later.

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“As many of you are already aware, we have suffered a serious fire in the synagogue tonight,” Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, the head of the modern Orthodox congregation wrote in an e-mail.

“Thank God, no one was in the building at the time, and no person was hurt. The Sifrei Torah were not inside, however, the synagogue appeared to be extensively damaged.

The rabbi said a team of fire marshals were currently trying to determine the cause of the fire. “We are grateful for the professional and speedy response of the FDNY, even as we brace for a challenging period of rebuilding,” Lookstein wrote.

Kehilat Jeshurun was founded 135 years ago and blends Orthodox religious practices alongside a strong commitment to the State of Israel, according to its website.

Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.

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A previous version of this article mistakenly referred to the burnt synagogue as Bnei Jeshurun instead of Kehilath Jeshurun. We apologize for the mistake.

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