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Republished from Jewish Business News.

Rabbi David Kushner told the Philly Daily News that Early Thursday, first day of Rosh Hashanah, his Ford Explorer was torched in the parking lot next to the Rodef Sholom Synagogue in Atlantic City.


“We’re trying to look at this situation positively,” Kushnersaid. “The year can only get better from here.”

Optimism is so touching sometimes.

Kushner, who only recently became the Rodef Sholom rabbi, parked the Explorer in the lot Wednesday night, before the services.

When he returned to the synagogue Thursday, he found ashes and scorch marks where the car used to be. The burnt SUV had been mercifully towed away.

Kushner told the News investigators had told him the fire was “suspicious.”

“I think someone picked the car because it was parked at the synagogue during worship,” Kushner said. “It’s almost impossible to say it was a coincidence.”

Kushner said he lost some valuables in the torched vehicle, including equipment he uses as a volunteer EMT in Monmouth County, N.J. But the worst damage was caused to his congregation.

“We have an older congregation, comprised of many Holocaust survivors,” he said. “To see this during the High Holy Days raised emotions in them that haven’t come out for years.”


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Tibbi Singer is a veteran contributor to publications such as Israel Shelanu and the US supplement of Yedioth, and Jewish Business News.


  1. Whenever I hear of such things I wonder who has done it. It makes a difference. Is it Christians, Muslims, sympathizers with Muslims, or neither? Most articles seem to avoid saying especially in the non-Jewish media. We need to know where the attacks come from. They are not blameless or faceless crimes. And to do this to a congregation made up of sho’ah victims just makes it more troubling.

  2. we have family that went to rodef shalom shul for decades dating back before the 1950s… this is shocking! atlantic city once had a thriving jewish community… but this just breaks my heart. glad that i am here in Jerusalem but said for the locals and the community that once was…

  3. A splendid reason for every Jew to go armed wherever they are, legally or by other means if necessary…"Never again!" has to mean something and those not intent upon the preservation of all Jewish communities everywhere need not bother calling themselves Jews…they have become something less!

  4. “We’re trying to look at this situation positively,” Kushner said. “The year can only get better from here.”
    Rabbi Kushner, I have to say that your response is inspirational. May G-d bless you, your family and your congregation with abundant goodness!

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