An overnight fire destroyed the Chabad House at Florida State University at approximately 3:20 a.m. on Monday morning.
Fire crews arriving on the scene encountered flames and smoke billowing out of the building.
No one was injured. The cause of the fire is unknown and is being investigated by the fire marshal’s office.
Rabbi Schneur Oirechman of Chabad of Tallahassee and FSU told WTXL that the center’s two Torah scrolls, hundreds of books, and their kitchen which was used to prepare food for Jewish students who keep kosher were all destroyed in the blaze.
"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.
In a statement, Rabbi Oirechman described the fire as “devastating.”
“The Moris and Lillian Tabacinic Chabad Center served as a center for Jewish life for the last decade of our 23 years serving the Tallahassee Jewish community,” he said. “It had become a beacon of light, full of the beauty and joy of Jewish life. Thousands of Jewish students and members of our community met one another at Shabbat and holiday services and meals, participated in Torah study, and witnessed acts of kindness that emanated to all areas.”
He added that he and his wife Chanie were “shocked and overwhelmed” by the fire.
“We are also committed to overcome this tragedy, and with G-d's help we will yet build a stronger and brighter future out of the ashes,” he said.