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Manhattan Synagogue Torched

Vandals set fire to the entrance of the Central Synagogue in midtown Manhattan early Thursday morning, charring a pair of newly refurbished doors which had been unveiled only the day before in honor of the synagogue’s 150th anniversary.

Flammable liquid was poured on the doors before they were set on fire shortly before 5 a.m., police said. No messages or slogans were found at the scens. Police have deemed the fire “suspicious” but are not yet investigating it as a bias crime.

The fire struck as the historic Reform temple prepares to celebrate its founding 150 years ago this month, according to Rabbi Stanley David.

“One wonders whether this person noted this development and waited for (the doors) to be completed,” said David.

He said that in August, swastikas were scratched on the side of the building.

The attack follows by a month the burning and desecration of a Brooklyn synagogue.

Because of the Columbus Day postal holiday in the United States, the JTA Daily News Bulletin will not be published on Monday, Oct. 10.

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