When a Victoria, Texas, mosque burned down under mysterious circumstances on early Jan. 28, 2017, members were distraught.
The fire, which collapsed the building, left the congregants of the Victoria Islamic Center without a place to worship.
<h2>That is, at least, until members of a local Jewish congregation showed up at a mosque founder's house with a key to their synagogue. </h2><p>"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," Robert Loeb, the synagogue's president, <a href="http://forward.com/news/361793/jews-hand-muslims-synagogue-keys-when-a-texas-mosque-burns-down/" target="_blank">told Reuters</a>.</p><p>Both communities are small — Victoria boasts a few dozen Jewish and about 100 Muslim residents — which synagogue officials said makes sticking together all the more important. </p><p>"Everyone knows everybody, I know several members of the mosque, and we felt for them," Loeb said.</p><h2>Others in the community pitched in as well.</h2><div><div class="push-wrapper--mobile" data-card="image" data-reactroot=""><img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTUyODkyNS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNTg1NzgwOH0.HOBN5J-KBzGfvtTz3xct7QO7k8uhtcFQEtpkx--JZ8U/img.jpg?width=980" id="bb876" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3951ac40a6018e5f8a20a007ec4ebd3e" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image"><div class="image-caption"><p>The Victoria Islamic Center, before the fire. Photo by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/100232630071179/photos/a.1141066765987755.1073741828.100232630071179/1141066745987757/?type=1&theater">Victoria Islamic Center/Facebook</a>. </p></div></div></div><p>A few days after the fire, local high school students rallied in support of the mosque, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1300223303405433&id=100232630071179" target="_blank">praying and planting trees</a>. Donations to a <a href="https://www.gofundme.com/victoria-islamic-center-rebuilding" target="_blank">GoFundMe page set up to raise money for rebuilding</a> have exceeded $1 million. </p><h2>After an election year that saw an increase in <a href="http://fortune.com/2016/11/17/anti-semitism-donald-trump-jews/" target="_blank">anti-Semitic</a> and <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/09/trump-muslims-islamophobia-hate-crime/500840/" target="_blank">Islamophobic</a> incidents, Jewish and Muslim groups have been coming together to support one another. </h2><p>Back in November, the Islamic Society of North America and the American Jewish Committee joined forces to <a href="http://www.upworthy.com/in-the-wake-of-trump-a-top-jewish-and-a-top-muslim-organization-are-banding-together">create the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Committee</a>, with the goal of combatting hateful speech and violence toward members of either faith and pushing for expanded rights for religious and ethnic minorities.</p><p>Meanwhile, groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations and Bend the Arc Jewish Action have been leading <a href="http://abc7.com/politics/cair-files-lawsuit-challenging-trump-executive-order/1728940/" target="_blank">protests</a> and <a href="http://www.jewishaction.us/" target="_blank">petitions</a> against Donald Trump's executive order barring travelers from Muslim nations from entering the United States.</p><h2>While it's still unclear whether the Texas mosque fire was an act of hate, the synagogue said it had plenty of space to welcome their neighbors.</h2><div><div class="push-wrapper--mobile" data-card="image" data-reactroot=""><img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTUyODkyNi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwMzg2NzIzMn0.O0bc7-zY9hKUKU8ez_6aST3IYISq-OkzA4PeEhlXXM8/img.jpg?width=980" id="ad3fb" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="5598ba7241c3037f4ddd51aa9e861d81" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image"><div class="image-caption"><p>Photo by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/100232630071179/photos/a.505273592900412.1073741825.100232630071179/1297619106999186/?type=3&theater">Victoria Islamic Center/Facebook</a>. </p></div></div></div><p>When terrible things happen to those nearby, the least we can do is find that space in ourselves.</p>
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