Sunday, 10 Kislev, 5783
  |  December 4, 2022

Destroy a Shul to Build Apartments?

A Halachic Analysis: Is a Boro Park developer allowed to knock down a 111-year-old Chabad Shul to build an apartment building? Full Story

71 Captain Promoted to Inspector

Next Story »

6 Days Left to Labor Day Retreat

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
August 30, 2017 8:28 pm


Eastern parkway they did this
August 30, 2017 2:29 am

There was a (once beautiful ) huge shul on Eastern parkway. They knocked it down and built condos and put a shul on the bottom.

August 29, 2017 11:44 pm

So correct That is why society has Civil Court Why erlicha yid den have Beis Din But this is so not about Halacha of knocking down a Shul It is about the right of beneficiaries. The responsibilities of trustees. Once that is ascertained once the protection of communal assets has been achieved THEN one proceeds to whether one may or may not do the action desired None of us are privileged with the knowledge of the true facts Agendas enter the equation The Congregation the beneficiaries deserve better Let Rav Undsdorfer who IS charged with all the above be allowed… Read more »

Unbelievable that Jews are trying to destroy a shul for $$$
August 29, 2017 10:15 pm

Clearly, the people defending this disgusting money grab and shul destruction have a hand in the money pie. If this was happening, say in Poland, in Germany or even in the US by goyim, there would be screams of anti-Semitism, and rightly so. But here, you have Jew$ who only care about money, money, money. The holiness of a shul means nothing to them, history means nothing to them, spirituality means nothing to them. How many of the investors involved even believe in Hashem? We hear so many stories about people who proport to be Chasidim or frum, and don’t… Read more »

#29 Benefit of Doubt
August 29, 2017 7:17 pm

27 asked if you know all the details 100 percent. Can you honestly say you do or is there a possibility that you are going on 10% hearsay? Also he did not give them the benefit of the doubt he said that maybe we do not know exactly all the facts! This just proves like many commentators that are just quick to write comments as if they are experts on all matters that have nothing to do with them. Unless maybe you are a board member and you know better.

August 29, 2017 6:01 pm

This is not כלל וישראל problem
Officious bystander has no rights and certainly no locus standi
The Congregation, its member and beneficiaries do have rights and it is to them, the sellers and the trustees have a fiduciary duty of care
שבת seems a very opportune moment for the Rov to address the issue and extraordinarily he has opened the floor to all comers
It is at that point all these issues and questions should be raised in a respectful moderate manner
למען השם ותורתו

August 29, 2017 3:57 pm

why would they sell a shul without even notifying the board members, or taking a vote. The whole these stinks so much and you keep on giving them the benefit of the doubt. Yes yidden are b’cheskas kashrus but if you work a little and find out the details unfortunately they are going against the chazaka

עבירה גוררת עבירה
August 29, 2017 10:44 am

It starts with חילול שבת by being matir an eiruv שלא כהלכה and then extends to חילול בתי כנסיות and eventually the חילול of the rest of the שלחן ערוך.

August 29, 2017 9:31 am

Why are you comparing a kasha with a borscht. What in the world does getting buildings from the govt and renovating them have to do with this situation. Just because they were given the Shula in Russia is no raya to anything. That’s doesn’t make them any better or worse then anyone else nor does it make They any saintlier. There is a cemetery project that the US govt has spent millions on as well to preserve the old jewish cemeteries destroyed in Europe. There is also federation money helping preserve the old Shula and govt money. Then there is… Read more »

To Asher Gluck & his chevra
August 29, 2017 8:43 am

How can rav Unsdorfer pasken a shailah that will provide him with a direct future benefit?? How is he NOT פסול because of his נגיעות?? This is especially troubling, because there is a very clear Halacha in שולחן ערוך חאו”ח סי’ קנ”ב and the פוסקים there, that it is an עבירה to demolish this מקום קדוש even if you claim to build a larger shul instead. There are also many other relevant איסורים discussed in סי’ קנ”א. The תוה”ק commands us: לא תעשון כן לה’ אלקיכם. This building is not at risk of collapse. Even if there may be a… Read more »

Asher Gluck
August 29, 2017 4:40 am

Rabbi Unsdorfer announced that he will address the halachic aspects of this issue after davening this coming Shabbos. He will answer any questions you may have after the speech. You are all welcome to come listen and to debate the issue in an intelligent manner. The shul is on 36th Street and 12th Avenue.

to #15
August 28, 2017 9:40 pm

How many millions of dollars was spent by shluchim to renovate shuls given to them by the goverment. In Russia etc. They renovated them and didn’t tear them down.

It's the Condo Unit
August 28, 2017 6:50 pm

I was told that Rabbi Unsdorfer is the supposed Rabbi that permitted all this activity. He is also due to become the future Rabbi of the new First Floor shul, in a few years from now when it becomes ready AND that he will be getting a rabbi’s residence in one of the new condo units. This all being the case, he should recuse himself from this issue – due to his extreme negi’us (conflict of interest) and a question should be asked to an an appropriate competent posaik that will provide a plausible halachic ruling, and most importantly –… Read more »

Dear M. schmukler
August 28, 2017 3:36 pm

It says the Shul is 111 years old. If that is so, the number is the same gematriyah as that of Pele – wonder. May you see open miracles concerning the Shul very soon!

#20 s'yog l'chochma shtika
August 28, 2017 2:46 pm

I was personally involved where a Shliach attempted to do a hostile takeover. It was truly a situation where he was given a second chance and he was biting the hand that feeds him. Wasn’t the first or the last. Becoming a rabbi of a shul to then tear it down and rebuild is again the same situation which I am alluding to the fact that this article does not clearly state. I.e. Every detail of the rebuilding deal. I would be asking what the square footage allocation is to the new shul? Rent/ maintenance component annually to the property… Read more »

To #15
August 28, 2017 11:34 am

The 1st part of your message directly contradicts the 2nd! You say that Chabad Shluchim make “hostile” takeovers and change the shul (You admit that they keep them as Shuls and make them nicer). 1) i find that nasty and would you say you searched up all the details? If so, please be specific. I can’t join you in protesting a broad term, but I would for a specific case. 2) Shluchim are people that put everything aside and go to help communities. Shluchim are held to certain standards (keeping Halacha etc.) by a group of Rabbis and Rabbonim. Developers… Read more »

money is its own religion
August 28, 2017 11:23 am

1. seemingly Thsi was an underhanded deal 2. One cannot simply knock down a shul Al Pi Halacha It would have had to have been a better one. (35 E.P. was falling apart physically The replacement might not have been a better one but it certainly was better than nothing in this case the sole reason is money *& greed the propsed sale is not even the real value of which is much higher The building is still in gerat shape a beautiful shul & a thriving Congregation the purpose of this was Gezailah!

Historic preservetion
August 28, 2017 10:46 am

Regardless of Halacha people should value historic preservation.

Goyim understand the importance of landmarks and statues.

Assur Gamur
August 28, 2017 9:13 am

The shulchan Aruch OC 152 clearly states and the later poskim all reiterate that it is FORBIDDEN to demolish a shul, even if one were planning to make it larger and grander. It is in fact an איסור דאורייתא to do so!

August 28, 2017 9:05 am

Nothing has been done
Nothing can be done whilst it is with the Civil Court
Loads of time to obtain consensus of BP Rabbonim with a Heskem as to what in practicalities can be done will be done
Posts don’t influence one iota Askonim erlicha Askonim do.
Askonim don’t not need nor, suggests I, desire publicity
Let’s wait and see how this saga plays out

August 28, 2017 9:04 am

Shluchim all over attempt hostile takeovers and stealing Shula claiming they are there to maintain it and then they tear down and built new buildings with other facilities. No one on the chabad world says a word. Here it’s a Williamsburg developer and he’s a terrible person. I don’t know the insights of the deal. Not to I know the whole arrangement. It sounds a little odd that they are paying an equal amount to rebuild. But just maybe it will be a new better shul. Maybe the building is in need of repairs and they can’t afford it. My… Read more »

Follow the money trail...
August 28, 2017 6:19 am

Therein lies the truth

to #4
August 27, 2017 11:06 pm

like I said before, the ones that stole the shul the last few years and tried to kick out the old members, if they don’t have money to maintain the building ( when they took it for free, no mortgage) then they are doing something wrong. let them not make like they are trying to do something good here. Let them give it to Rabbi Ginsberg or Heichal Menachem, I’m sure many people are willing to take it and will maintain it. Maybe it will become Lubavitch again. There was Lubavitch siddurim there always. They Allowed Lubavitch to come in… Read more »

to #4
August 27, 2017 10:52 pm

wake up. open your eyes. the shul is not winning here, and its not about jealousy. The shul will have to rent a space for at least 4 years , then pay 3 million dollars back to the developer. So the developer gets 5 floors or air rights for free. The shul will still have to pay to build a nice shul as they will probably get a shell. So the shul loses money, and I’m sure they will not get 2 floors. Right now they have 3 floors. The developer is probably give the trustee a kickback for the… Read more »

To clarify #2
August 27, 2017 10:47 pm

935 e.p. was not build for a shul, later it became a shul , Harav Ushpol’s shul was built for a shul , matter of fact upstairs doors to shul did not have mezuzahs ,as a long time mispallel there, until I got married and moved to crown heights ,I my father and my zaide (, in which my zaide got , Harav Ushpol to be the rov of the shul ) with other lubavitcher chasidim davened there. The last year’s of Harav Ushpol in all his deroshos on shabbos was almost screaming to the oilam that they should not… Read more »

It's going to happen in CH
August 27, 2017 10:33 pm

Mark my words.

It actually is a Chabad Shul
August 27, 2017 10:20 pm

Or at least it’s supposed to be…

I dont understand
August 27, 2017 9:32 pm

Let the person make some money and give the shul a new place. Done all the time.

August 27, 2017 9:02 pm

BS”D Wow, the main gathering place of the Talucha to BP

not them
August 27, 2017 8:59 pm

935 was collapsing. it was a senior center prior to demolition. and yes it was a hazard in the neighborhood, that the city would have seized if it wasn’t demolished. that said I still wonder if we could have done better?

to #4
August 27, 2017 8:35 pm

if you build a new shul in the same place you still need to demolish and build, demolish and build and not knock down totally and then build. check it out

Can you knock down a shul to build a nicer shul?
August 27, 2017 7:59 pm

That is the real question which most people would say yes. So now that you got that out of the way, does it make a major difference to you that the 7 floors over the shul are apartments? No, but there is a jealousy factor at play here.

Call a spade a spade.

August 27, 2017 7:46 pm

How low we are stooping for real estate . It starts with hipsters coming to rent center of Kingston from our own lubavitch landlords and now to other people selling a shul! How low did we fall for money??? Shame on us Jews

Yechi Hamelochim
August 27, 2017 7:32 pm

Explain how Young Israel at 935 Eastern Pkwy, was knocked down, to build an apartment building. They also put the Shul in the basement. Why does it work for one, and not for the other.

It's not a chabad shul.
August 27, 2017 7:30 pm

People are calling this a Chabad shul.
The Rov for many years was Harav Ushpol. It wasn’t considered a Chabad shul.
Besides that, it is asur and a major chutzpa what these developers are trying to do.