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Anti-semitic Arson Suspected in Fire at Russian Jewish Center

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Days after authorities in the Russian town of Borovichi granted a public space to the local Jewish community, it was seriously damaged in what local Jews believe was an anti-Semitic arson attack.

According to Edward Alexeev, leader of the small Jewish community in the town of 90,000 located about 300 miles northwest of Moscow, the fire earlier this week totally destroyed the roof of the building. No one was injured in the incident, which firefighters said was arson.

Alexeev said the attack could have been an anti-Semitic backlash against town authorities’ granting the space to Jews, banning neo-Nazi activities and initiating a seminar to counter anti-Semitic and hate propaganda among the town’s youth.

The moves followed an international campaign launched by U.S. Jewish groups after the tiny Jewish community of 200 in Borovichi reported a dramatic increase in neo-Nazi activities.

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