14-Year-Old Neighbor Nabbed In Lower East Side Synagogue Arson

Police arrested a 14-year-old boy on Tuesday night in connection with the massive fire that burned down an historic synagogue on the Lower East Side.

A police spokesman confirmed that the young man would be charged with arson. The spokesman said that he had no information on a suspected motive. A spokesperson for the New York City Fire Department, reached Wednesday morning, said that the department had no update on their investigation into the fire.

Beth Hamedrash Hagadol, which had been empty since 2007 and deemed unsafe by the city since 2011, was an important landmark on the Jewish Lower East Side, and an important symbol of the neighborhood. The Forward reported Monday that the congregation was on the brink of announcing restoration plans for the building when the fire struck.

According to the local news blog The Lo-Down, police brought the 14-year-old to the local precinct while police commissioner James O’Neill happened to be in the building to attend a local community council meeting.

Contact Josh Nathan-Kazis at or on Twitter, @joshnathankazis.

This story "14-Year-Old Neighbor Nabbed In Lower East Side Synagogue Arson" was written by Josh Nathan-Kazis.

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14-Year-Old Neighbor Nabbed In Lower East Side Synagogue Arson

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