Jewish Cultural Center raising money to replace burned car
Chattanooga Police are still looking for the people responsible for setting fire to a car in the parking lot of the Jewish Cultural Center. The fire damaged the car and another van used by the center for a variety of programs, like meal deliveries to the elderly.
"We have a large client base that we help basically to stay as independent in their homes for as long as possible," says Rebecca Peck, director of social services for the Jewish Cultural Center.
The arson destroyed a car sitting in the Jewish Cultural Center parking lot, set ablaze sometime Sunday. The van next to it now sits at a repair shop in East Ridge.
"For something like that to happen is disappointing and frustrating because it's basically our program that is being hurt and it's the clients that need those services who are being hurt," says Peck.
The center employs three drivers and a nurse who help 40 to 50 people every week whether, it is delivering meals or taking people to the doctor's office.
"We function like a family," says Ann Treadwell, Program Director for the center. "I think the thing that always concerns us this most is whether it's directed to the Jewish community or not."
Police are investigating the crime as a possible hate crime but representatives with the Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga do not think that is the case. Even so, they say it is still un-nerving.
"I think all of us felt uneasy. A little bit uneasy," she says.
"It's a good place for the Jewish community to meet from all the congregations. So we're real close here. Plus they have a real good cook here too," says Jerry Bohn, who uses the center.
Insurance will cover part of the damages but the center is raising money to replace the car.
"We do thank the Chattanooga community for all of the support they have given us and hope that they can go one more step and help us raise the additional funds for the rest of the transportation," says Treadwell.
An insurance adjuster still has to come look at the van.
For more information on how to help the center, click here.
Chattanooga Police are still working leads in the case. If you have information that can help, call 423-698-2525.