Arlington community shows support for rabbi after 2 suspicious fires set outside his house

ARLINGTON, MASS. (WHDH) - The Arlington community came out in full force Monday night in support of a local rabbi who’s dealt with two fires that were set outside his home over the past two weeks.

“We would like to thank the community for supporting us, encouraging us through the last few days,” Rabbi Avi Bukiet said at a packed meeting Monday night in Arlington.

The two fires were set outside Bukiet’s home, which also serves as a Jewish community center.

After the first fire on May 12, police released surveillance video that showed a suspicious person walking away from the home.

The second fire occurred May 16.

“The jolt that followed in the last few days has left a deeper impact on my family. It is the recognition that we live in an amazing, caring, and loving community,” Luna Bukiet said.

Whoever set the fires ignited the passion within the Jewish community, which has a message: it won’t be intimidated.

“It is really important when they happen to have a large showing to respond,” said Naomi Greenfield, of the Arlington Human Rights Commission.

Arlington Town Manager Adam Chapedelaine agreed, saying, “We work really hard to be an inclusive community so when things this happen we take it seriously.”

On the night of the second fire, there was another fire set at a rabbi’s home in Needham.

Police haven’t said if they believe they’re connected.

Bukiet told those gathered that the best way to respond to hatred is with a good deed and to help others.

“People are saying don’t stop, bring more good deeds into this world, and that’s all that counts,” he said.

(Copyright (c) 2019 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)