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protection from the incursion of an inappropriate condominum tower at the Shearith Israel Synagogue site.

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The Parsonage - Part of the Shearith Israel Luxury Apartment Project?

Just In: Has the Congregation recently rented the Parsonage for $19,000 a month?? That is the rumor, supported by the architectural plans which show living quarters. This belies the Congregation's need for more program space.


Questioning Motives:

"I am sick and tired of people questioning our motives" said one Congregation officer to me at the November 15, 2005, hearing, as he stormed out. But, clearly, the Congregation still uses it good motives as the basis for getting a pass for its plans. The Congregation persuaded the Community Board to put in its resolution the following language

"WHEREAS, MCB7 recognizes the need of Congregation Shearith Israel for additional space for its educational and other programming and unique archives, and to provide ADA accessibility to its historic Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue structure;"

The Congregation wishes to have it both ways. Clearly, it does not want anyone to question whether the Congregation has special needs that require the waiver of laws. Clearly, ADA accessibility could be easily added even with the existing building. The parsonage could be used to house these archives. And, the Congregation has admitted that the school operating at present is not even affiliated with the Synagogue, but is just a tenant. And, of course there are many other questions.