Far Rockaway N. Y. (Apr. 14)
– All nine Torahs of the Young Israel of Far Rockaway, estimated to be worth $90,000, were stolen sometime between Sunday night and yesterday morning, Rabbi Isaac Goodman reported. He said police have been conducting a thoroughgoing investigation of the “unprecedented” thefts.
Goodman said he had proclaimed a fast day on Thursday for the congregation and invited non-congregants, shocked by the thefts, to join in the fast day which, he pointed out, this year is the day of the fast of the first-born.
A spokesperson for the synagogue said that about three weeks ago, a passing motorist noticed a man carrying several Torah scrolls near the synagogue. When the motorist stopped his car and began asking the man where he had obtained the scrolls, the suspect dropped them and fled.
The spokesperson said that several small windows had been broken by the thief to gain entrance to the sanctuary. In his call for fasting, Rabbi Goodman noted that thefts of Torah scrolls “have been on an alarming increase.”