London Jews mobilize for victims of deadly apartment fire


(JTA) — Britain’s chief rabbi offered prayers and a local synagogue put out an appeal to help the victims in the deadly fire that destroyed a high-rise apartment building in London.

At least six people were killed and dozens remain missing and are feared dead in the massive fire in Grenfell Tower in the western part of the British capital. Terrorism is not suspected in the blaze, which also injured more than 70.

“Images of #GrenfellTower are truly harrowing. My prayers today are with all affected & with the heroes running towards danger to save lives,” Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis tweeted at 2 a.m. Wednesday as firefighters continued to battle the blaze.

Rent in the building is publicly subsidized, and many of the residents were low-income families or disabled people.

The Board of Deputies of British Jewry, an umbrella group, said in a tweet that it was exploring the best ways in which it could help the families displaced by the blaze.

The Holland Park Synagogue, located just blocks away from the apartment, early Wednesday morning asked its members to donate items to those affected by the fire. The synagogue in its appeal said “the people who lived in the tower have lost everything. Anything you can do to help will be much appreciated,” the news website UK Jewish News reported.

The synagogue said it would collect items, including much-needed toiletries, at its building.

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