Another Anti-Semitic Attack? Flames Engulf Historic NYC Synagogue

The New York Fire Department is currently investigating a fire that left Manhattan’s historic Congregation Beth Hamedrash Hagadol in ruins over the weekend.

Anti-Semitic attacks appear to still be on the rise throughout the United States as a historic synagogue in New York City was mysteriously engulfed in flames over the weekend.

The 120-year-old Congregation Beth Hamedrash Hagadol located in Manhattan’s Lower East Side lit up in a blaze that burned from approximately 7 p.m. on Sunday through late in the night, Think Progress reports.

Although the building has been vacant since 2007, it once served as the oldest place of worship for orthodox Russian Jews in the country and has remained a historic landmark, until now.

The New York Fire Department said the cause of the fire is being investigated, but they cannot confirm whether it was an act of arson or not.

Although the probe is ongoing, American Jews have every right to feel uneasy as the timing of this incident coincides with a noticeable increase in anti-Semitism throughout the nation in the last year.

So far in 2017, 541 anti-Semitic incidents have occurred, according to a report from the Anti-Defamation League released in April. Think Progress notes this marks an 86 percent increase compared to the same time in 2016.

Hate crimes, in general, have surged since President Donald Trump’s election and subsequent inauguration. While it may come to light that this incident was not an act of hate, the fear that people are living in daily that they may be targeted in random acts of violence is very real and warranted.  

Banner/thumbnail credit: Wikimedia Commons, Sheila 

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