EJC Expresses Solidarity With Jewish Community in Geneva Following Synagogue Fire

The European Jewish Congress expresses its solidarity with Geneva’s Jewish community following a destructive fire on Thursday at the city’s largest synagogue, and urges the Swiss police to quickly investigate the causes.

The EJC shares the great sadness and consternation of the Swiss Jewish community on this tragedy at the Hekhal Haness synagogue that took place during the second day of Shavuot.

The fire was initially described by Swiss police as criminal in nature, but as of Friday May 25th, the Swiss police say it appears to have been caused by an electrical fault. The damage was discovered shortly after 5 AM, at the synagogue located in east Geneva.

More than 40 fire fighters were needed to extinguish the blaze – no one was hurt in the fire.

In a press statement, Johanne Gurfinkiel, secretary-general of the Geneva-based Intercommunity Coordination against Anti-Semitism and Defamation (CICAD), said that the Jewish community in Geneva is tense and worried, as well as shocked and saddened by the incident.

Police said that the synagogue was only lightly damaged and that all the Torah scrolls and religious objects had been salvaged by rescue workers and fire fighters.

In April of last year, the Lausanne synagogue was desecrated, with several of its windows systematically broken.

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