Citing a gradual decline in membership over the past 30 years, the rabbi of the East Nassau Hebrew Congregation in Syosset, L.I., decided late last year to sell the building.
But a group of area residents who claim to be synagogue members have sued to block the sale. The lawyer for the group, Michael Adler, said they want to pay the rabbi, Solomon Appleman, $1 million just to walk away and let them reorganize the congregation with the help of the local Chabad or some other organization.
An electrical fire raced through a wing of the Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore in Plandome, L.I., Monday, forcing the evacuation of 75 nursery school children and about 20 teachers and staff. There were no injuries.
Sylvia Jacobs, the synagogue's executive director, said the blaze was discovered shortly before 11 a.m. in a wall leading to the basement. It destroyed a men's room, hall carpeting and a portion of the roof before firemen from six departments extinguished it.
Maurice Levonbron was born eight years after his synagogue.
As the Huntington Jewish Center prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary next March, it has begun collecting reminiscences from some of its longtime members, including Levonbron, who celebrated his bar mitzvah there 79 years ago.
"We went to the shul and I had my bar mitzvah and my mother later had a dinner [for the relatives] at home," said Levonbron, a retired lawyer who celebrated his 92nd birthday Sept. 4.