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Jewish Center Firebombed; Latest in Series of 10 Firebombings; Lindsay Calls for Probe

The Crown Heights Jewish Community Council – a storefront operation in this Brooklyn area – and a nearby two-family residence were fire bombed early this morning. There were no injuries but the interior of the store was heavily damaged according to a Jewish community spokesman. Mayor John V. Lindsay sped to the scene and conferred with community leaders. He ordered intensive police and fire department Investigations to determine who was responsible. A spokesman for the Jewish community, who requested anonymity, said this was the latest In a series of about 10 fire bombings In the past two weeks. According to witnesses, a car containing three Negro teenagers pulled up in front of the Council headquarters about 5:36 a.m. One got out and tossed a -home-made bomb through the window, then got back in the car which sped off. The landlord, who-lives above the store, called in the alarm. The private residence, which has no Jewish occupants, was fire bombed at 6:05 a.m. Damage was slight. Mayor Lindsay met with Jewish and non-Jewish community leaders and police and fire department representatives at the nearby office of the local Urban Task Force.

Community leaders, black and white, who have been attempting to stabilize the area–once almost entirely Jewish–and prevent the flight of Jewish families from Crown Heights, said this latest In a series of “harassment” fire bombings might undermine their efforts of the past few years and cause a renewed flight of Jewish families from Crown Heights thereby turning the area into a new Negro ghetto. The Mayor, who called the stabilization effort a model for both the city and the entire country as evidence that different groups can live together in harmony, directed the police and fire departments to conduct “thorough investigations” to determine who was responsible for the harassment which might jeopardize the stability of the area. Among community leaders meeting with the Mayor was Sid Davidoff, an assistant to the Mayor and chairman of the Crown Heights Urban Task Force; Rabbi Samuel Schrage, administrator of the city’s Neighborhood Youth Corps and director of the Neighborhood Action Program and a founder of The Maccabees, a Crown Heights self-defense organization; Rabbi Sholom Gorodetsky of the Crown Heights Stabilization Committee; and Rabbi Sol Eisner, vice chairman of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council.

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