Arson at New York Sikh Center, Gobind Sadan USA

February 17, 2002

Source: The Syracuse Post-Standard

On February 17, 2002, The Syracuse Post-Standard featured the article "7,500 Miles to Redemption: Local man to represent community at Sikh event in India." It reported on the journey of Mark Lichtenstein, president of a local school board, to India: "For the 40-year-old Oswego County resident, the next 11 days will be a pilgrimage of hope, forgiveness and understanding in a Sikh religious compound 15 miles south of New Delhi." The article explained that he travel with the spokesperson for Gobind Sadan USA, Ralph Singh. After Gobind Sadan was destroyed by arson, it was discovered that one of the teenagers charged in the crime was in Lichtenstein's district. He noted, "'I kept asking myself, what could we, as a school district and as a community, have done to eliminate the kind of ignorance' that led to this crime, he said. 'I'm not unrealistic. I know that I can't change everyone, but I really wanted to know what more could have been done to prevent something like this. ... I am not going there representing the school district,' he said. 'I am going as an ambassador for our community, to express our sorrow about what happened."