Arson is suspected in the raging blaze that destroyed a historic 150-year-old synagogue on New York’s Lower East Side.
Video footage shows three teenagers entering Beth Hamedrash Hagodol on Norfolk Street and leaving just before the fire erupted Sunday, NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce told the New York Daily News.
“We do think it was arson,” Boyce told the paper.
The fire broke out just before 7 p.m. inside the synagogue at 64 Norfolk St., which has been empty for a decade.
The synagogue, which was designated a city landmark in 1967, was the oldest Ashkenazi shul in New York.
Its congregation was on the verge of a deal to redevelop the building, which might have led to it reopening when the blaze destroyed those hopes.
Dave Goldiner is the Forward’s director of digital media. Dave is a veteran journalist who has spent two decades working at newspapers in the United States and Africa. A native New Yorker, Goldiner wrote for the New York Daily News, where he covered some of the biggest stories of our time, including the attacks of September 11, along with thousands of stories of hope and heartbreak. He also studied and worked in Southern Africa and has written for publications in South Africa and Zimbabwe. He holds masters degrees in journalism and public administration from Columbia University. Dave can be reached at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter @davegoldiner