L.A. offers reward in shul arsons

LOS ANGELES — The City of Los Angeles is offering a $20,000 reward for information regarding arson attacks at two Orthodox synagogues during Chanukah

The fires damaged portions of Congregation Kehillas Yaacov and Congregation Shaarei Tefilah, which are located on the same block in the traditionally Jewish Fairfax district.

In announcing the reward at a news conference, the captain of the Los Angeles City Fire Department, Steve Ruda, said that a two-month investigation by local and federal officials "has come up against a lot of dead ends."

Officials are not classifying the incidents as hate crimes because there was no anti-Semitic graffiti or fliers at the crime scenes. They suspect that the fires may have been set by vandals or transients.

Tom Tugend

JTA Los Angeles correspondent