Community Reacts to the Loss of Adas Israel Synagogue

DULUTH, Minn. – The Adas Israel Synagogue has served the community for more than a century.

Mixed emotions are the overwhelming reaction from many people on the tragic loss of this historical structure.

One resident, who lives next door, says loud the sirens woke her up.

She was shocked to see the building in flames.

“This little shack was inflamed. The firemen were all out here and they took an ax to it and next thing the roof was on fire,” said Cathy Gonzalez.

Adas was the oldest synagogue in Minnesota that had been in the same location since being built.

It wasn’t just a place for the Duluth community to congregate.

But many people from across the country have come to love the synagogue.

But now the building is potentially a total loss.

It was also the home of Torah Scrolls.

They hold a valuable significance to the Jewish community.

Luckily fire crews were able to salvage a few.

“It’s the only heartening thing about this whole thing. Its still a loss because we lost a number of them, but at least we were able to reclaim a number of them and reclaim some of it because it’s the heart of the religion,” former synagogue president Phillip Sher.

Sher says Torah Scrolls are expensive and very difficult to find.

They have to be hand scribed on a special kind of paper.

Even though something good came out of the situation, there is still a sense of sadness on the loss of history.

Sher says people from as far as New Jersey have reached out to give their support.

At this point, Sher and members of the congregations says it is too early to tell if they will rebuild or not.


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