A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.
In response to community objections, a prominent Brooklyn synagogue will not proceed, for the moment, with the construction of a 65-foot annex to its main building, according to several members of the Syrian Orthodox community in Brooklyn who asked not to be named. However, they will most probably not permanently shelve the project altogether.
Congregation Shaare Zion’s plan was to turn the two-story property it owns next to the shul into a six-story building housing classrooms and more prayer space.
The main building, located on Ocean Pkwy, between Avenues T and U, has a capacity of just over 1,000 people, while the shul’s membership has swelled in recent years to 670 families.
At a Community Board 15 meeting that was open to the public two weeks ago, five area residents, including members of Shaare Zion, spoke out against the proposal. No one spoke in favor of it. When the vote was tallied, the board rejected the proposal by a count of 19 to 13. (Five or six board members, who are also members of Shaare Zion, did not vote to avoid a conflict of interest.) The board’s vote is only advisory and does not preclude the shul from trying to obtain an official variance from New York City’s Board of Standards and Appeals to erect a building taller than 35 feet.
“Right now, the project is on hold because the community is not for it,” said one Shaare Zion member with knowledge of the shul’s plans. “It’s not going to proceed. Maybe in a year or two, but not now.”
However, Edmond Dweck, a member of the Syrian Orthodox community and a member of the community board’s zoning and variances committee, said that it is unlikely they will permanently disband with the expansion plans. He said the two sides will probably have to come to a compromise – one that he recommended is to build the annex only up to three stories, within the 35-foot limit.
Opponents of the expansion – mostly neighbors of the synagogue – said that the proposed building would block their sunlight and more people would start to attend services, increasing traffic and parking difficulties in the area.
The shul had originally said the expansion’s purpose was to accommodate the current number of worshippers, not to make room for more.
Opponents also expressed concern that the synagogue’s current banquet hall would expand and the accompanying garbage from catered affairs, as well as the increase in pedestrians and valet-induced traffic, would make the already-busy area even more intolerable, according to Dweck. Dweck said, however, that according to the plans submitted by Shaare Zion, the catering facility would not be expanded.
“They really are in need of additional space for classes and services,” Dweck said. “They are currently very tight there.”
The congregation started in the 1940’s in the home of a local resident, and then moved into its current location in 1960. The synagogue was designed by the noted architect Morris Lapidus and includes a main sanctuary – often referred to as “the Dome” – that seats some 400 people. The annex building was purchased by the shul in the late 1980’s.
The synagogue and its lawyer, Lyra Altman, did not return multiple calls for comment.
About the Author: Shlomo Greenwald is associate editor of The Jewish Press.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
The overwhelmed police made sure the Arab mob didn’t snatch any of the Jewish children during the attack.
A corner in the Jerusalem Machane Yehuda Mall.
NYU SJP students crept into a primarily Jewish dorm and shoved propaganda under the doors of the sleeping students.
The Association of Tennis Professionals World Tour will play this year in Israel, the first time that Israel has hosted an ATP tournament since 1996, according to the organization. The tournament, offering $1 million in prize money, will take place at the Israel Tennis Center in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat HaSharon Sept. 15-21 […]
The Boycott Movement, like the Palestinian Authority, is slowly but surely dissolving itself.
The Israeli security cabinet unanimously decided today that Israel would not negotiate with a Palestinian government backed by Hamas, the terrorist organization that calls for Israel’s destruction. Considered a severe blow to peace talks, the ‘historic’ Hamas-Fatah unity pack was announced on Wednesday following a seven-year power struggle between the two factions. After Hamas’s victory […]
Ostrovsky was beaten and blindfolded during his captivity
Northeastern University has provisionally reinstated the Students for Justice in Palestine chapter on campus. The SJP chapter will remain on probation through January 2015, according to a notification letter from Dr. Laura A. Wankel, the university’s vice president for student affairs. Students for Justice in Palestine was suspended from campus on March 7 for at […]
HAS and El Al are no longer flying the friendly skies together – and loyal customers are getting hurt the most.
Ellen Degeneres gave away SodaStream products to audience members as an eco-friendly Earth Day gift.
Turkey “will strongly support the reconciliation agreement and offer all humanitarian aid” for the Hamas-Fatah unity government that was announced Wednesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told Gaza’s de facto prime minister Ismail Haniyeh. Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan became a fan of Hamas five years ago, at the same time relations with Israel […]
Two worshippers in a synagogue on Passover saved a child from death in a burning car that exploded shortly after the rescue. The worshippers rushed to the burning vehicle after hearing the family’ scream for help, and they found the toddler strapped in a car seat. The worshippers, Moshe Kupperman and a second man, identified […]
At the press conference with the Israeli reporters, Abbas threatened to cancel the Oslo Accords, dismantle the Palestinian Authority, and force the Israeli government to pay the salaries of PA employees and the police.
A survivors’ daughter serving in the IDF brings pride and joy to a Holocaust survivor.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Abbas must choose between peace with Israel or Hamas.
How political movements gain footholds remains one of the great true-life mysteries.
Filling two vacuums at once – one of Orthodox women taking a more public role and a second of Modern Orthodox Jews demonstrating the merits of religious Jewish practice – Allison Josephs has transformed her sweet and engaging webisodes and blog into a larger force. Jew in the City is now a franchise.
All the books reviewed in this supplement can serve as great gifts; the books reviewed briefly below do as well.
While we know a lot about our greatest forebears from the Chumash and later biblical generations, even if there are often gaps in their life stories, we know considerably less about the Sages of the Mishnah (the Tennaim) and of the Gemara (the Amora’im), collectively known as Chazal – our Sages, of blessed memory.
Zakheim frequently used his access to ambulances and helicopters to transfer sick or injured individuals to hospitals.
You’ll never get anything you need or want if you don’t ask. You have to ask the questions.
Treasure this advice, because it’s one of the best you’ll get in life. At times it’s thorny and complicated to ask another for something – what if he says no and your request is rebuffed. Rejection is hard to take. And what if you’re imposing or the requestee has a hard time saying no? But you’ll also never get a “yes” without first asking.
The Holidays are over (please, no applause). But if you find yourself already missing them, rejoice, rejoice. A pleasurable new compendium of poetry by newcomer Yossi Huttler will keep you warm until Chanukah, Purim and – dare we say it too soon – Pesach once again come into view.
New York State Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Queens) is a candidate in New York’s 6th Congressional District in the June 26 Democratic primary. Lancman, who served as an officer in New York’s 42nd infantry division and as a local community board member, recently met with The Jewish Press Editorial Board. He addressed Israel and local issues.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/us-news/ny/syrian-community-members-contest-synagogues-expansion-plan/2012/01/04/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: