A Bayside homeowner is being accused of using his home as an illegal synagogue, according to city records.
The Department of Buildings received a complaint that Jacob Hasis, a rabbi, is using his 26th Avenue residence as a house of worship, in violation of its certificate of occupancy as a residence, a spokesman said.
“This property has many past issues so we take the complaints very seriously,” the DOB spokesman said.
Hasis acknowledged that residents complained to him about loud noise coming from his home. But he said that people mistake his large family of 12 and a couple of friends who come over for religious reasons as a synagogue.
“My family is 12 people and maybe another three or four of my friends come over to pray,” he said. “I don’t know why they were complaining.”
But in a flier that Hasis made, he invites “the whole community” to “Rabbi Yaakov’s shul for the high holidays service,” although the flier does say there is “limited space available” in the single-family home.
Hasis has a history of constructing additions to his home “illegally” and has paid $1,200 in fines to the city in regard to the property, according to the DOB spokesman.
The home also has three open violations relating to construction without the proper work permits. This construction includes creating entry doors for the cellar, two of which the DOB has deemed “immediately hazardous.”
The front yard of the house is filled with bricks, wheel barrels for cement and an abundance of wood.
Community Board 11 and state Sen. Tony Avella’s office have also received complaints about the building.
A spokesman for Avella said that the office was aware of the complaints and that they were in the process of trying to figure out the situation.
Harvey Beringer, who lives near the alleged synagogue, said he tried to complain to the community board, but someone had beaten him to it.
“When I called the community board, they said they had a complaint already about it being used as a synagogue,” he said.
The DOB plans on inspecting the property within the next 60 days, according to its spokesman.
With additional reporting by Salvatore Licata