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Michigan Police Hunting for Arsonist Who Set Fire to Synagogue

Police authorities of this quiet residential town southwest of Detroit were still hunting today for an arsonist who had set fire last Wednesday night to Beth Israel Synagogue, causing damage estimated at tens of thousands of dollars.

The fire was discovered in the evening, several hours after the building had been vacated by the last class of Jewish children attending the synagogue’s religious school. There was no one in the building when the fire started. On a blackboard in one of the basement classrooms, firemen found scrawled in yellow paint a swastika and the word “Juden.”

Police Inspector Paul Dechene said the fire was “definitely” the work of an arsonist, a sick person.” Meanwhile, the congregation used yesterday the facilities of Faith Methodist Church, where it had conducted its services until it erected its own synagogue three years ago.