By COLlive reporter
Photos by Baruch Ezagui
A groundbreaking ceremony was held this week in the Rockland County village of Airmont, NY, for a new shul being built by Chassidic singing sensation Lipa Schmeltzer.
The new structure, to be built near Schmeltzer’s home, will house the New Beis Medrash D’Airmont, which is open only on Shabbos and holidays.
Despite the fact that the Village of Airmont has been sued twice in Federal Court for religious discrimination, Lipa’s attorney, Ryan Karben, said that getting approval on permits for the building was a relatively smooth, if time consuming process.
The ceremony, which including a few prayers and saying L’Chaim, was attended by fellow congregants as well as singers R’ Michoel Schnitzler, Beri Weber and a newcomer to the music industry (and Lipa’s nephew) Sruli Green.
One participant, who plays an important role in the Shul, yet was at the event for a few brief moments due to prior engagements was Rabbi Aaron Dovid Gancz, Mashgiach of Yeshivas Tomchei Temimim Lubavitch in Morristown, NJ.
Gancz, a neighbor of Lipa and head of Chabad Jewish Center of Suffern, was warmly welcomed at the ceremony. “We learn Chassidus every Leil Shabbos (Friday night),” Schmeltzer later told COLlive.com.
He added that Gancz gives a weekly Dvar Torah during Shalosh Seudos on Shabbos afternoon after Mincha and is an inspiration to him.
“We are very grateful to have him involved,” Lipa said.