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Re: Research Query: Investigating the Rochester Synagogue Bombings of 1970

A comparison with the firebombing of synagogues in the Boston inner-city neighborhood of Dorchester-Mattapan in 1970 (as part of a blockbusting drive) might be useful. There is literature on this episode, including The Death of an American Jewish Community: A Tragedy of Good Intentions.
by Hillel Levine and Lawrence Harmon.

Ed Levin
Center for Textual Studies
Lifshitz College

Re: Research Query: Investigating the Rochester Synagogue Bombings of 1970

I also have some first-hand knowledge, having served as rabbi of Temple Beth Am (in the Rochester suburb of Henrietta) from 1982-86. I was surprised that the actual event was as early as 1970 as it was something many members were conscious of. I always remember it being attributed to mafia actions, perhaps to distract the police. I am still in touch with a few long-time Rochester residents who may have recollections to add.

Robert Tabak
Philadelphia

Re: Research Query: Investigating the Rochester Synagogue Bombings of 1970

Speaking as a primary source, my family moved to Rochester in 1976, when I was 12. We joined Beth Shalom, one of the bombed synagogues. I remember someone pointing out the signs the synagogue wall had been repaired, but I don't remember any discussions of the bombings representing anything other than mafia mishegas. I'd be happy to arrange in interview with my father, who would remember how the Jewish community presented itself at the time.

Larry Yudelson
Editorial Director
Ben Yehuda Press
http://www.benyehudapress.com

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