TEXAS – A small Jewish community in Victoria, Texas, has given the keys of its synagogue to their Muslim neighbors, offering them a place for prayers after their mosque was destroyed in fire during the past weekend.
Robert Loeb, the president of Temple Bnai Israel, told Forward: “Everyone knows everybody, I know several members of the mosque, and we felt for them. When a calamity like this happens, we have to stand together.
“We have probably 25 to 30 Jewish people in Victoria, and they probably have 100 Muslims. We got a lot of building for a small amount of Jews.”
Flames engulfed the Victoria Islamic Center, destroying the building in the predawn hours Saturday.
The incident occurred within hours of President Donald Trump announcing a ban on citizens from seven Muslim majority countries entering the United States.
“Jewish community members walked into my home and gave me a key to the synagogue,” Shahid Hashmi, one of the mosque’s founders, said.
A GoFundMe campaign to rebuild the mosque has raised more than $900,000 (£717,000) for reconstruction.
“Our hearts are filled with gratitude for the tremendous support we’ve received. The outpouring of love, kind words, hugs, helping hands and the financial contributions are examples of the true American spirit,” Omar Rachid, who created the GoFundMe campaign, said.