Close your eyes, breathe in deeply, now exhale slowly… That was easy, wasn’t it? Not for everyone…
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.
Israel’s Elbit Systems has racked up two more sales, this time by its cyber security subsidiary Cyberbit to a European police force and an African enforcement agency. Elbit, listed on NASDAQ, did not disclose the amount of the sales. It set up the Cyberbit subsidiary earlier this year to include the cyber and intelligence divisions […]
The regime’s Fars [Read “Farce”] News Agency reported that three Israelis and Jordanians were killed.
Jaffa port is a nice little port with a pleasant promenade to walk around on.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, DNC chair, allegedly blocked a DNC resolution supporting the Iran Deal.
Dr. Sacks was one of the greatest, if not the greatest, neurologists.
Arab readers of the Arabic version of Aljazeera responded with astonishment at the restraint shown by an armed Israeli soldier, who was filmed while a group of female villagers physically assaulted him during a rally.
Palestinian Arab terrorists shot and wounded an Israeli driver on the road near Kedumim.
Firefighters in Galilee were able to stop a brush fire on Sunday from spreading into a wildfire.
An Israeli woman has allegedly flown to Turkey to cross the border into Syria to join ISIS.
PM Netanyahu told Italian PM Renzi during weekend talks in Florence Israel does not object to a “civilian” nuclear program in Iran.
The car headed towards a group of four soldiers in Hebron, striking one.
The ruler of the Principality of Monaco, Prince Albert II, on Thursday issued a formal apology for his country’s role in deporting Jews to Nazi death camps during World War II.
Speaking to Jewish leaders and the American Jewish community on Friday afternoon, President Barack Obama said he’s had arguments with the Israeli leadership because he considers them his friends.
She denies that her criticism of Republicans wanting to put immigrants in “boxcars” was a reference to the Holocaust.
Whether the rest of us admit it or not, covers draw our attentions and create the initial impressions we have with books.
We have to respect religion. We have to respect people’s freedom of religion; it’s one of the guarantees in our Bill of Rights.
Creativity without clarity is not sufficient for writing. I am eternally thankful to Hashem for his gift to me.
Israel’s morality is underscored by its unprecedented restraint and care for loss of life.
With Journey of Faith in front of you during the shul’s leining, or at home on a long Shabbos afternoon, you’ll enjoy worthy insights and see the entire sefer anew.
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.
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: