Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Saturday 16 January |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Giuseppe Antonio Tovini
home iconNews
line break icon

After mosque fire in Texas, Jewish community gives synagogue keys to Muslim neighbors

Bilgin Sasmaz / ANADOLU AGENCY

Daniel Esparza - published on 02/03/17

"We've got a lot of building for a small number of Jews," says synagogue president. "We feel for them."

The small Jewish community of Victoria, Texas, just handed the keys to their synagogue to their neighboring Muslim worshipers, after the only mosque in town was destroyed in a fire. The Victoria Islamic Center was burned down last Saturday — it had been burgled before — and the cause is currently under investigation by federal officers.

But in the meantime, Robert Loeb, the president of Bnai Israel, headed to the house of Dr. Shahid Hashmi — a surgeon who’s also one of the mosque’s founders — knocked on his door, and gave him the keys to the synagogue, so the Muslims could have a place to worship while the mosque is rebuilt. “We have probably 20 to 30 Jews in Victoria,” said Loeb, according to, “and they probably have 100 Muslims. We’ve got a lot of building for a small number of Jews. Everybody knows everybody; I know several members of the mosque, and we felt for them. This is sad for everyone in the community and as Jews we especially have to feel for the Muslim community. When a calamity like this happens, we have to stand together,” Loeb added.

To read the whole story, as published by The Independent, you can click here.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the dad who's teaching basic skills on Y...
Bret Thoman, OFS
An exorcist teaches 4 steps to forgive
Philip Kosloski
What is the Holy Cloak of St. Joseph?
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful...
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Why God loves ordinary stuff: Pope Francis' r...
POPE FRANCIS; Ash Wednesday
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Vatican: Imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday...
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the family of 12 siblings with a very sp...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.