Temple Beth El (Syracuse, New York)

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Temple Beth El
Basic information
Location 3528 East Genesee Street, Syracuse, New York, U.S.
Geographic coordinates 43°02′30″N 76°05′22″W / 43.041583°N 76.089415°W / 43.041583; -76.089415Coordinates: 43°02′30″N 76°05′22″W / 43.041583°N 76.089415°W / 43.041583; -76.089415
Affiliation Conservative Judaism (at end)
Orthodox Judaism (at founding)
Ecclesiastical or organizational status Temple
Status Closed and Sold

Temple Beth El was an Orthodox Jewish synagogue[1] formed in 1965[2] in Syracuse, New York. It originally belonged to the Orthodox Union, then about 1997 it joined the Union for Traditional Judaism.[3] Later, in 2002, it changed to a Conservative affiliation, and held its final service on January 27, 2007.[4]

Arson attack[edit]

The Temple building, but not the sanctuary, was heavily damaged[5] in an arson attack on October 13, 2000.[6] Palestinian-American Ramsi Uthman was convicted in the attack.[7] Uthman, who was born in Venezuela to Palestinian parents, is a naturalized U.S. citizen.[8] Ahed Shehadeh was convicted of aiding and abetting the arson.[6] According to Shehadeh's testimony, after Uthman set fire to the Temple, he yelled "I did this for you, God!"[8]

In exchange for his testimony Shehadeh received a five-year prison sentence, and was released in 2008. Uthman received the maximum possible sentence of 25 years, to be served in New York's Attica Correctional Facility, although he will be eligible for Parole in 2021.[9]

The building reopened in 2001[5] after repairing some $700,000 of damage from the attack.[8]

Closure and sale[edit]

In 2007, due to declining membership, the synagogue has closed and was sold. The membership voted to join Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevra Shas, a Conservative synagogue at 18 Patsy Lane in DeWitt.[4] In October 2007, the Slavic Full Gospel Church began using the building.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ O'Brien, John (October 17, 2000). "Feds: Arson, No Bomb; Who Poured the Fuel for Fire at Temple Beth El?". The Post-Standard. Syracuse. p. A1. Archived from the original on November 10, 2013. Retrieved February 4, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Temple Beth-El - Syracuse, New York (NY): Company Profile". Manta Media Inc. Retrieved February 5, 2012. 
  3. ^ Gadoua, Renee K. (July 30, 2002). "After Arson, Temple Searches for Identity - Temple Beth El Leaders Will Vote on Changing from Orthodox to Conservative". The Post-Standard. Syracuse. p. A1. Archived from the original on November 10, 2013. Retrieved February 5, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Gadoua, Renee K. (February 9, 2007). "Temple Ends Worship Services - Citing Declining Membership, City's Temple Beth El Will Join DeWitt Congregation". The Post-Standard. Syracuse. p. B1. Archived from the original on November 10, 2013. Retrieved February 4, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Wright, Gloria (March 23, 2001). "Shabbat Dinner Tonight at Temple: The Meal Will Be the First Since Arson Fire Heavily Damaged Temple Beth El". The Post-Standard. Syracuse. p. C3. Archived from the original on November 10, 2013. Retrieved February 5, 2012. The temple's sacred objects, its sanctuary and its stained-glass windows were not permanently damaged. 
  6. ^ a b Altschiller, Donald (2005). Hate crimes: a reference handbook. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. p. 25. ISBN 978-1-85109-624-4. 
  7. ^ O'Hara, Jim (November 25, 2003). "Guilty Verdict in Temple Arson - Ramsi Uthman Is Convicted of Hate Crimes". The Post-Standard. Syracuse. p. B1. Archived from the original on November 10, 2013. Retrieved February 5, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b c "Syracuse Synagogue Arsonist Convicted of Hate Crimes". Anti-Defamation League. December 2, 2003. Retrieved February 5, 2012. 
  9. ^ Trends in Hate.
  10. ^ Sieh, Maureen (October 2, 2007). "Slavic congregation moves into former Jewish temple". syracuse.com. Syracuse Online LLC. Retrieved February 5, 2012.