Manhattan synagogue fire was likely arson: cops

Built in 1850 as a Baptist church it was purchased by the Beth Hamedrash Hagadol congregation in 1885 for $45,000

The enormous blaze broke out shortly before 7pm Sunday evening and was brought under control around midnight by more than 100 firefighters, according to FDNY.

A three-alarm fire ripped through an empty, landmarked synagogue on the Lower East Side Sunday night, according to the FDNY.

Anti-Semitic attacks appear to still be on the rise throughout the United States as a historic synagogue in New York City was mysteriously engulfed in flames over the weekend.

The man told FDNY marshals that he saw smoke billowing out of the historic Beth Hamedrash Hagadol synagogue on Norfolk Street before spotting the trio sprinting away from the building, sources said Monday.

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No injuries were reported in the incident but the building sustained significant damage.

The 1850 Gothic building served as a house of worship for the Beth Hamedrash Hagodol, an Orthodox Jewish congregation, before it was closed ten years ago. The building had been abandoned in 2007 due to dwindling synagogue membership. The cause is still under investigation, but the revelation that a second blaze also started inside would suggest they might have been started deliberately or accidentally by vagrants. The building was declared a city landmark in 1967.

A former rabbi who led the congregation for three decades, Rabbi Mendel Greenbaum, said all Torahs and religious artifacts were safe and intact.

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