Ukrainian Synagogue Reportedly Firebombed in First Violence Against Jews

The Molotov cocktails struck the synagogue's exterior stone walls and caused little damage, according to a Chabad blog.

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Molotov cocktails were thrown at the newly-built synagogue and Jewish community center of Zaporozhye, in southeastern Ukraine, on Monday night, according to a blog of the Chabad movement.

It was the first known violence against Ukraine's Jewish community since the unrest in that country began three months ago.

The masked perpetrators managed to leave the premises without being apprehended by the community center’s security personnel, but were caught on camera, according to the Chabad blog.

The community center was dedicated a little more than two years ago. The Molotov cocktails struck its exterior stone walls and apparently caused little damage.

Chabad Rabbi Nachum Ehrentrau, who also serves as chief rabbi of the city and the surrounding region, says the center is frequented by dozens of local Jewish people on a daily basis, with up to 800 congregants attending High Holiday services.

At the time of the attack, the building was closed for the night, although Chabad Rabbi Michael Oishie had left only 20 minutes beforehand.

The police responded immediately, according to Rabbi Ehrentrau, but no arrests were reported.

Ehrentrau said that the center was well-protected. “Our synagogue is surrounded by a barrier, the doors are all automatic, and we have round-the-clock security staff,” he said.

“In these uncertain times, we are, of course, even more cautious, doing all we can to ensure the safety of the community center and its visitors.”

The synagogue in Zaporozhye.Credit: Times News

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