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Manchester Fire Damages Rabbi’s Study, Destroys Records, Believed Set by Arsonists

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A fire, apparently set by arsonists, gutted the rabbi’s study at Temple Adath Yeshurun here and destroyed valuable records and other documents including all copies of the manuscript of a book the rabbi was writing, the Boston Jewish Advocate reports. But Rabbi Samuel Umen hesitated to attribute the act to anti-Semitism. He noted that there had been similar attacks recently on buildings of other religious denominations. “Anti-Semitism just isn’t something you charge without real concrete indications–I really hope my fears are ungrounded.” he said.

Adath Yeshurun, one of two synagogues in this town, was not the only Jewish target. Four months ago an attempt was made to set fire to the Jewish Community Center across the street from the temple. According to Raymond M. Kalman, director of the Center which serves Manchester’s 500 Jewish families, vandals spread chemicals in the building’s hallway last February but they failed to ignite.

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