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Community rallies to aid Jewish victims

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- California's leaders are loudly denouncing the arson fires that struck three Sacramento area synagogues, saying prejudice and hatred must not be tolerated.

The state Assembly on Monday unanimously approved a resolution calling the fires one of the worst acts of anti-Semitism in American history.Hours later, some of the state's top leaders joined more than 2,000 people for a "united against hate" rally at the Sacramento Convention Center.

"I cannot pretend to know what you are feeling," Sharon Davis, wife of Gov. Gray Davis, told members of the three Jewish congregations in the audience. "But I do know this: You are not alone. The heart of this community and the entire state of California aches with yours."

Fires were set within minutes of each other early Friday at the 150-year-old B'nai Israel and two suburban temples, the Congregation Beth Shalom and the Kenesset Israel Torah Center.

The arson caused about $1 million in damage, including destruction of B'nai Israel's 5,000-volume library. Anti-Jewish fliers were found at two of the crime scenes.

There are no suspects, FBI spokesman Nick Rossi said.

Assembly members spent nearly an hour Monday speaking in favor of a resolution condemning the attacks. They passed it unanimously and sent it to the Senate.

Louis Anapolsky, president of Congregation B'nai Israel, said the attacks resulted in an outpouring of condolences and offers of aid from people of all faiths around the country.

"In times of crisis like this, all that can do is strengthen our resolve to go forward and lift our spirits," he said.