Congregation struggles to repair shul and adjacent Ramaz school in time for High Holidays and school year.
Sealed off by metal barricades and makeshift wooden walls and yellow emergency tape, the north side of East 85th Street between Lexington and Park is off-limits to pedestrians this week, as the Fire Department inspects the remains of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, which sustained heavy damage in a four-alarm fire last week. Two bright red cranes, towering over the five-story synagogue building, dominate the site.
Our hearts go out to the members and leadership of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, the landmark synagogue on the Upper East Side that suffered serious fire damage this week.
Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, the venerable spiritual leader of the 140-year-old congregation, expressed gratitude that no one was injured in the four-alarm blaze and that, since the synagogue had been under renovation since May, no Torah scrolls were on site.
A four-alarm fire erupted at Congregation Kehillat Jerushun on the Upper East Side Monday night. Four firefighters were treated for minor injuries sustained while fighting the blaze, which drew some 170 responders, including medical technicians.
WNBC News reported that the Torahs had been previously removed from the 110-year-old building on East 85th Street due to construction. Services are being held at a building across the street. The blaze, which started on an upper floor, was brought under control around 10 p.m.