Reward Offered for Information on Possible Arson at Chabad Center in Oregon
A civic organization in Oregon said on Friday that it was offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information regarding two separate fires at a Jewish center in Portland in the space of a week.
Crime Stoppers of Oregon said it was asking for the public’s assistance as police continue to search for those responsible for the blazes at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life. The first incident took place just before 11 p.m. on Aug. 14, while the second was reported on Aug. 19 shortly before 3 a.m.
While the first fire was apparently caused by an electrical fault in the building, which dates back to 1929, Portland fire officials remain concerned about the cause of the second fire. No suspects have yet been identified and the police are not presently investigating the fires as a hate crime.
Speaking to local broadcaster KOIN-6, Rabbi Motti Wilhelm of the Chabad Center said that the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, which begins on Friday night, would be an opportunity for Portland’s communities to stand united.
“We are going to promote unity, we are going to promote peace,” Wilhelm said. “While somebody for some strange reason set this place on fire, the love of the creator, the love of our teachings and the love of fellow human beings that this represents only became stronger.”