Denver Newsroom, Sep 3, 2020 / 03:00 am
The Chabad Center for Jewish Life in Newark, Delaware was damaged by arson in the late evening hours of Aug. 25. The building, which serves Jewish students of the University of Delaware, was unoccupied at the time, and no one was hurt.
The State Fire Marshal's Office has ruled the blaze to be arson, adding that the motive of the fire remains under investigation. The assistant state fire marshal initially estimated the damage at some $200,000.
Father Tim McIntire, OSFS, pastor of St. Thomas More Oratory and chaplain at the University of Delaware's Catholic Campus Ministry, told CNA that his church, which is located just across campus from the Chabad Center, took up a second collection at Sunday Mass to raise money for their neighbors.
He said the fire greatly upset many of the Catholic university students who attend the Oratory, who are now eager to help the Chabad Center get back on its feet. The center serves between 100-200 Jewish students regularly.
"It just continues this streak of attacks on our Judeo-Christian heritage; Churches being burned, statues being destroyed and vandalized. I find it really sickening," McIntire commented, referring to the spate of attacks against churches and art across the US in recent months.
The Oratory reached out to the Chabad Center via email and telephone soon after the fire, McIntire said. Although they haven't yet received a response from the rabbi, he said they plan to send over the check for the Center to use as they see fit in their rebuilding efforts.