A Chabad synagogue in San Jose, Calif., was destroyed by a fire early Wednesday morning and a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for its rebuilding has already garnered more than $51,000.

The Chabad House in the neighborhood of Almaden explained on Facebook that someone lit a fire in the carport area next to the synagogue, which then engulfed the entire building. Investigations are being conducted to see if there were any “ulterior motives” that caused the fire. Rabbi Mendel Weinfeld, the executive director of The Chabad House, told KTVU Fox 2 that an arson investigator from the local fire department is investigating.

The Chabad’s Torah scrolls were saved from the fire, as well as some sacred Jewish books.

“We are all in shock and devastated at the disaster but we are also optimistic about rebuilding our Jewish community center bigger and greater,” the Chabad House said.

A community member started a GoFundMe campaign on Wednesday for the Chabad’s reconstruction, with a goal of raising $250,000. Weinfeld told KTVU Fox 2 he is grateful for the support.

“We just celebrated Chanukah. Where we celebrate our freedom and light over darkness. Everyone is happy to help and ready to build,” he said. “This will just make us stronger.”


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