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Syna Gogue Destroyed by Fire Will Be Rebuilt Rabbi Says

February 28, 1979
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The rabbi of a northern California congregation whose synagogue was destroyed by a $1.5 million fire earlier this month has informed the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the synagogue will be rebuilt and a fund-raising drive has already begun. “We are pulling together and will rebuild,” declared Rabbi Herbert D. Teitelbaum, of the 450-member Temple Beth Jacob in Redwood City, 25 miles south of San Francisco.

The fire Feb. 3 gutted the 500 seat Conservative temple and adjoining social hall and caused extensive damage to a wing containing classrooms and offices. Four of the temple’s five Torahs were also burned in the fire and their ashes were buried at a public service Feb. II.

Teitelbaum, who has been the synagogue’s rabbi since 1957, said arson is suspected, although the official report was that it was “of undetermined origin.” The temple has been hit over the last year by a series of smaller fires and burglaries. He said it will take about a year to rebuild the temple.

Meanwhile, the congregation will be housed at the nearby First Congregational Church Temple Beth Jacob is the oldest congregation on the Monterey Peninsula. Originally located in Menlo Park where it was founded in 1930, it moved to Redwood City in 1953 and began with the wing housing the auditorium and classroom. The main sanctuary was added in 1960.

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