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No Time Off For Holidays

10/10/2003
Staff Writer
It looks like Jewish rituals are being used as the latest weapons in the ongoing legal battle between the National Council of Young Israel and its affiliate and tenant, the Young Israel of Fifth Avenue. Last week the NCYI tried to bar YIFA from using a meeting room for Yom Kippur services.

Young Israel OKs Sale Again

09/26/2003
Staff Writer
The board of directors of the National Council of Young Israel has voted again to sell its longtime Manhattan headquarters to a condo developer for $5.4 million. The approval comes days after a state Supreme Court justice nullified a previous board vote by one of the nation's largest Orthodox membership groups for not being conducted properly. Tuesday night's vote was 18-1 with one abstention, according to NCYI attorney Ken Fisher. It took place at an hourlong closed meeting at Abigael's restaurant in Manhattan.

Young Israel KO'd On Building Sale

09/12/2003
Staff Writer
Bad math equals no sale. That's what an acting state Supreme Court justice ruled Monday when she rejected the National Council of Young Israel's request to sell its six-story headquarters in Manhattan's Flatiron District building to a condominium developer for $5.4 million. Debra James said NCYI did not properly count the votes from its board of directors meeting when NCYI officers approved the sale at a Nov. 14, 2002 board meeting.

Thou Shalt Lie Low

08/29/2003
Staff Writer
"What are you doing Alabama? You got the rest of the union to help you along What's going wrong?" Neil Young, "Alabama," 1972 Alabama's small Jewish community has been watching the "Decalogue Debacle" with a mixture of grit and grimace.

Survivors' Cases Back On Track

08/15/2003
Staff Writer
In a surprise legal development that could impact on the Bush administration, a Manhattan federal appeals court last week quietly breathed new life into potential billion-dollar class-action lawsuits by Holocaust survivors against the governments of Poland and Austria over the loss of their property during and after World War II. Last week, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit overturned a Brooklyn federal judge's June 2002 decision to dismiss the case "Garb vs. Poland" on the grounds that Poland was protected by sovereign immunity.

'Honey Did It All'

08/08/2003
Staff Writer
In October 1979, Honey Rackman was asked to help a friend whose daughter was being denied a "get," or Jewish divorce. A group of Modern Orthodox women held a meeting in their Flatbush, Brooklyn, neighborhood to discuss how to help. Since then she became a tireless advocate for "agunot," or "chained women," whose husbands refuse to grant their wives a religious divorce, leaving them in a kind of purgatory.

Rabbi Files New Suit To Halt Belzec Project

07/25/2003
Staff Writer
Determined to stop construction of a "desecrating" sunken walkway through Poland's Belzec concentration camp, activist Rabbi Avi Weiss filed a lawsuit in state Supreme Court against the American Jewish Committee, this time naming himself as a co-plaintiff. But AJCommittee executive director David Harris labeled the lawsuit "frivolous" and defended the walkway, or "trench," as part of a necessary $4 million permanent memorial to the nearly half-million Jewish victims buried in mass graves at the death camp.

Split Decision

07/25/2003
Staff Writer
The Beth Din of America has disqualified the rabbinic court of the National Council of Young Israel from settling a dispute with one of its affiliate congregations over the proposed sale of NCYI's Manhattan headquarters to a residential developer for $5.3 million.

Death Camp Dispute

07/11/2003
Staff Writer
How best to honor the memory of half a million Jews buried in the horrific and long-neglected Belzec death camp in southeastern Poland? That's the heart of a running dispute pitting several rabbis and Jewish organizations that support the approved design plan against New York activist Rabbi Avi Weiss, who insists the plan desecrates the victims and violates Jewish law. The dispute echoes the debate in New York City over the memorial for the Sept. 11 World Trade Center victims.

Split In Young Israel Family

06/06/2003
Staff Writer
Things are growing nastier at 3 W. 16th St. in Manhattan. Last week, the Young Israel of Fifth Avenue (YIFA), an Orthodox synagogue with about 200 members located at the Chelsea address, was barred from receiving its packages. That's because the building owner is refusing to accept the synagogue's mail. The latest incident of anti-Semitism? Hardly. The building owner is the National Council of Young Israel, the parent organization for nearly 150 Orthodox synagogues across the country.
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