Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Bethesda Synagogue Fire is Blamed on Young Vandals; Damage Runs to $100,000

April 17, 1968
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A spokesman for the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith said today that the fire which severely damaged the Congregation Bethel Synagogue in nearby Bethesda, Md. last weekend was “completely isolated from the recent racial disorders.” He said that an investigation by the ADL and consultations with the police and fire departments indicated that while the blaze was indeed arson, it was a case of vandalism and attempted burglary “bearing no anti-Semitic implications.” Damage to the synagogue is now estimated at $100,000. An investigation disclosed that one or more individuals, presumably youths, either secreted themselves in the synagogue or broke in, apparently to steal valuables, the ADL spokesman said. He called the episode “a youthful, clumsy attempt at larceny.”

Recommended from JTA