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News Brief


A Jewish community center has incurred smoke damage from the wildfires spreading throughout southern California.

The Lawrence Family JCC in La Jolla is among the area Jewish institutions that have been evacuated, according to the chief operating officer of the United Jewish Federation of San Diego County, Michael Sonduck. He said some 125 residents of the Jewish Sea Crest retirement villages were evacuated Monday night, with the rest to leave soon.

Also evacuated was the Chabad in Malibu, according to Chabad officials in New York.

One of the largest Jewish communities in California, San Diego County has some 100,000 Jews. It is not known how many are among the 300,000 citizens who have been evacuated from the area, where 14 separate fires are burning.

Though the San Diego federation is out of the fire zones and not in any danger, many of its employees have been evacuated from their homes and are not at work.

It is not known if any of the area’s 40 plus synagogues have been damaged, but a number are in fire zones, Sonduck said.

Jewish communal leaders in San Diego County will hold a teleconference at 2 p.m. Pacific time Tuesday to discuss how to react to the fires. The federation, the Jewish Community Foundation and the Jewish Family Service of San Diego have set up the Jewish Community Disaster Fund to help assist with relief. Information on donations can be found at

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