Synagogue Destroyed in Big Fall River Fire

Rabbi Risks Life Twice to Rescue Holy Scrolls (Jewish Daily Bulletin)

The only house of worship to suffer in the fire which razed six city blocks here yesterday was the new Temple Beth El, which had been dedicated in September. The synagogue, valued at $100,000 was insured for only $35,000. One wall remains of the building.

As the building was swept by flames Rabbi Norton Goldberg, rabbi of the temple, plunged into the building to rescue the Holy Scrolls. Forced out by the smoke he resisted persuasions to remain at a safe vantage point but ran again into the building and emerged through the flames bearing the Scrolls. Accompanied by the caretaker, Samuel Slotoff, the rabbi succeeded in rescuing valuable volumes from the temple building. The upper stories toppled as they came out of the burning building.

The temple had been purchased from the Union Methodist Episcopal parish. Many thousands of dollars were spent in remodelling the building which was considered one of the finest houses of worship in Southeastern New England.

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