WEST HAVEN, Conn. (May. 11)
Police report no progress in their investigation of a fire of a suspicious origin that destroyed half of Congregation Sinai, a Conservative synagogue on Washington Street here on May 5.
Anti-Jewish slogans and swastikas scrawled on the rear of the building indicated an anti-Semitic motive.
The blaze gutted the rabbi’s study, the synagogue office, the chapel, a foyer and other rooms. But the main sanctuary was spared, including the Torahs and other religious articles.
According to the fire marshal, Deputy Chief William Muldey, the blaze was definitely arson. Detective David Ricci, who is heading the police investigation, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency no conclusions could be drawn until the investigation is completed.
The fire broke out at about 4:50 p.m. on May 5. Members of the congregation said the anti-Semitic graffiti found immediately afterward had not been there before the building burned.
Property damage is estimated at $750,000. Rabbi Larry Heimer, religious leader of the congregation, could not be reached for comment.