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Fire destroys Tallahassee Jewish center, Rabbi plans to rebuild

Posted at 8:09 PM, May 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-09 01:53:05-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The Chabad Lubavitch of the Panhandle near Florida State University said they're going to "build a stronger and brighter future out of the ashes."

This comes after the Jewish center was destroyed in a fire around 3:00 a.m. Sunday morning.

All that's left of the center now is the frame of the building, along with rubble scattered across the property.

Rabbi Schneur Oirechman said that two Torah scrolls, along with hundreds of books, and their kitchen which they use to feed Jewish Florida State University students kosher foods were all destroyed in the fire.

"Now our focus is making sure that there's not going to be one student or one person in the community that isn't served that needs to be served because of this fire," said Rabbi Oirechman.

Matthew Boggan just started coming to Chabad Lubavitch at the beginning of the year. He said that when he first moved to Tallahassee, the center was one of the first places that made him feel at home. Although the building is gone, his involvement isn't over.

"I woke up this morning and I was completely shocked," said Boggan. "I couldn't even believe the news. It's a place where so many people come together, and really connect, and as I mentioned, it's like a family. So having this happen today was truly heartbreaking."

The exact cause of the fire is not known, the State Fire Marshall has been called in to investigate.