Arson feared in Swiss synagogue fire

Torah scroll survives; congregants celebrate Shavuot in damaged structure.

May 24, 2007 13:37
1 minute read.
Arson feared in Swiss synagogue fire

geneva synagogue fire. (photo credit: AP)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Fire caused major damage to one of Geneva's synagogues early Thursday, and police said they suspect arson. More than 40 firefighters were needed to extinguish the blaze, which broke out at 5 a.m. in the Hekhal Haness Synagogue in Geneva's Malagnou neighborhood. The fire was under control in an hour, but the blaze and smoke appeared to have destroyed most of the interior of the building, police spokesman Philippe Cosandey said. "It's not clear whether the fire originated inside or outside the building or whether the fire was set," Cosandey told The Associated Press. But he added that investigators are presuming it may be arson because there appeared to be several sources of the fire. Nobody was injured in the incident, police said. It was too early to give a damage estimate, said Cosandey. There have been incidents of anti-Semitism in Geneva, including graffiti scrawled on a synagogue last year. Although the windows and doors at the entrance were destroyed and the interior was blackened, a group of worshippers was praying in an inner courtyard to celebrate Shavuot Thursday morning. They used the Torah scroll that apparently survived the fire. The library on the first floor of the synagogue was destroyed by the fire, Jose de Matos - who works as a keeper at the synagogue - told the AP. The main prayer room was not damaged, according to an AP reporter who was given access to the building. "Nothing valuable protected inside the prayer room was damaged," de Matos said. The main entrance was completely burnt out, with windows blown out and walls blackened by smoke. Police were removing wood and rubble from the entrance. A heavy smell of smoke hung in the air. As the prayer service ended, members of the Jewish community were discussing how to arrange a wedding scheduled at the synagogue for Sunday.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Joan Rivers
August 28, 2014
Joan Rivers rushed to hospital following throat surgery


Cookie Settings