Your words, “shocked and appalled,” to describe the fact that the Teaneck Jewish Center did not sell to the highest bidder is very disturbing. Even more disturbing is the your suggestion that there is something “scandalous” about a house of worship preferring to have their building used by a yeshiva, a place of learning and spiritual growth, instead of making a profitable financial decision. Your words create divisiveness and ill will, and you are suggesting there is a scandal when you are the only ones using those words.
The board of the TJC should be lauded; this was a difficult decision for them. They chose Jewish education, which is worth more for our future than any money they lost. How dare you ask them to reconsider.Marsha Siegel, Teaneck
You’re right, Jewish Standard!
The Jewish community of Teaneck is fortunate to have such strong support from a neighborhood faith-based organization, the Catholic Holy Name Medical Center.
The Center’s offer to purchase the Teaneck Jewish Center at market value, pay half the salary of a rabbi who would serve both the TJC and Holy Name, ensure that congregants could continue to use the sanctuary for their religious services, and use the facility for educational purposes was clearly far and away the best proposal that would ensure the long-term viability of the declining Jewish Center.
The close vote of the executive committee, endorsing the unimpressive offer of the Heichal Torah Yeshiva, indicates uncertainty about this option, as well it should. It is highly unlikely that the yeshiva families would add any members to the Teaneck Jewish Center, given that many live in other communities and are already affiliated with other Orthodox congregations. There is no justification for the decision of the executive committee of the Teaneck Jewish Center not even to consider the proposal prepared and submitted by Holy Name Medical Center, other than a prejudice against selling the property to a non-Jewish institution.
From what I have been reading in the Jewish Standard, it is apparent that Holy Name is a sincere friend of the Center and the Jewish community. Good governance requires that its offer be brought before the board of trustees of the Teaneck Jewish Center for an open discussion and careful deliberation before rejecting it out-of-hand.