A South Florida Jewish congregation is vowing to rebuild after a suspected Tuesday morning arson gutted a Chabad House in Miami Beach operated by Rabbi Zev and Chani Katz. The loss comes smack dab in the middle of the Passover holiday.

Hours after the disaster, community members were describing the fire as a total loss as investigators looked into several suspicious clues, including the apparent disappearance of the synagogue's Torah scroll.

"This is all very devastating," stated Chani Katz, whose synagogue began with a mobile synagogue known as a Mitzvah Tank that her husband drove around town. "Just Monday, we were all sitting there having lunch."

According to Katz, some 150 people attended the Passover Seder conducted in the building's central hall Saturday night. On Monday night, her husband switched off all the lights and the building's air conditioner before returning home. Before dawn, only the charred remnants of the synagogue, its furniture and holy books remained.

She said that the fire apparently started in the area of the aron hakodesh, the cabinet that held the synagogue's Torah. After the blaze was extinguished, remnants of the Torah couldn't be found in the building. Outside, however, people found one of the Torah scroll's supports, with the scroll missing. Katz said it looked as if the parchment had been ripped from the rib.

The local Mayor Matt Bower told Miami's Channel 7 news that the city would find the perpetrators.

"I'm always an optimist," she said, "because these are hateful crimes that we can't tolerate here."

Already, the 250-strong community is planning for a bigger and better worship space.

"Everyone is calling to offer their support," said Katz. "We're going to have Friday night services this week on our big front lawn and take it from there.

"We're going to rise above the challenge," she added. "We're going to make it bigger, better, stronger than ever."

The Katzes are asking people to help by sending money to Chabad Fire Fund.