Tag Archives: synagogue

Suspect steals from Kew Gardens synagogue donation box: cops


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD


A burglar decided to help himself to some religious charity in Kew Gardens last week.

On July 25, at about 12:25 p.m., the suspect made his way into Congregation Adas Yerem through an unknown entrance, police said. Once inside the Metropolitan Avenue synagogue, he took $75 from a donation box before fleeing.

The suspect is described as white, around 5 feet 10 inches tall and 185 pounds. He was last seen wearing a multi-colored striped short-sleeve shirt, beige slacks and beige shoes.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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Board votes against Kew Gardens Hills synagogue expansion


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre


A Kew Gardens Hills temple with numerous building violations that wants to expand may need to turn to a higher power after Community Board 8 voted unanimously to deny its variance application, following strong opposition from neighbors.

The Sephardic Congregation, which operates in 141-41 72nd Ave., is seeking a variance from the Boards of Standards and Appeals (BSA) to build a third floor on its temple in a residentially-zoned area to ease the growth of its popular shul.

But because of 15 open Department of Buildings violations, including not having a Certificate of Occupancy, no fire alarms and a broken elevator, community board members blasted the congregation’s leadership in a meeting on Thursday and voted not to support the BSA variance application.

The ruling was cheered on by residents, who opposed to expansion because it could possibly reduce parking spots and property value while increasing garbage and noise.

“I am satisfied with [the board’s] decision,” said Denise Shore, a resident who lives next to the temple. “The system worked. It restored my faith.”

The congregation was established more than two decades ago after converting a residential house. A school, Yeshiva Ohel Simcha, was added soon after and currently enrolls 70 students of elementary school age every weekday. Currently, there are two floors and a cellar in the building. The third floor was necessary to accommodate new students, which they have had to turn away due to classroom-size limitations, congregation leaders said.

They hoped to add six additional classrooms, so they can house 185 students, doubling student enrollment and adding new teachers.

The congregation’s variance application for the third floor included asking for a pass to work in the building despite lacking the required Certificate of Occupancy and other violations. This was necessary, according to congregation lawyer Jay Goldstein, because without it they can’t legally work on the building, since it currently doesn’t meet requirements. They pledged to amend the violations if approved for the application.

However, frustrated board members split the application into two parts and denied both, the first being a variance to work in the building despite violations and the second was the variance for the third floor.

The BSA will have the final say on the application for a third floor and before that it’s expected to hit a borough president meeting. But losing the recommendation of the community board was a serious blow.

Representatives of the synagogue were visually displeased following the decision.

“I have no comment, the board did their duties as a civic association,” Goldstein said.

 

 

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Bandit thieves expensive relics from Queens synagogue


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Young Israel of Queens Valley

Thousands of dollars worth of relics were taken from a Queens synagogue while worshipers prayed upstairs.

The valuable Torah crowns were taken from Young Israel of Queens Valley last week during the temple’s evening services.

“This has never happened in the 50 years of the synagogue,” the synagogue’s executive director George Srolovits told the Daily News.

At first, officials believed the items were taken by someone to be polished.

The yarmulke-wearing thief was captured on surveillance entering the Kew Garden Hill synagogue and picking up a prayer book, before heading toward the unlocked ark in the basement.  He is later seen on film walking out with a plastic bag allegedly holding the crowns.

The relics are said to be worth $650 each.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800)-577-TIPS.

 

 

 

Liu “Stunned” By Fraud Charges Against His Campaign Treasurer


| jlane@queenscourier.com


Arrest Made In Connection With Queens Synagogue Burglary

Police say tips from the public led them to an arrest in the burglary of a Queens synagogue. Efram Sanders, 28, was arrested Tuesday and was facing burglary, grand larceny and stolen-property charges in connection with the break-in at Congregation Degel Israel in Kew Gardens Hills. More than a dozen items were taken, including silver torah crowns and breastplates, worth thousands of dollars in all. Police say they were able to recover all stolen items except for two silver pointers. Read More: NY1

 

NYPD cop impersonators may have used high-quality masks to pull off check-cashing heist

Three cop impersonators wanted for stealing $200,000 from a Queens check-cashing business may have worn masks that were Hollywood quality, the Daily News has learned. Investigators began to suspect the trio that pulled off the Valentine’s Day caper had worn masks that were far from the average costume-shop props after they got a tip, the sources said. One of the false faces even looked like pro wrestler Bill Goldberg. Read More: Daily News

Liu “Stunned” By Fraud Charges Against His Campaign Treasurer

In a serious blow to City Comptroller John Liu’s 2013 campaign effort, authorities on Tuesday announced the arrest of one of his top campaign aides on fraud charges, and the comptroller said he was shocked by the allegations. The U.S. Attorney’s office says Jenny Hou, 25, seen above right, was taken into custody in connection to what authorities call a scheme to use straw donors to get over the limit campaign contributions to Liu. Read More: NY1

 

Mayor Stands By Released Teacher Rankings As Charter School Data Is Published

Mayor Michael Bloomberg again defended the release of teacher data reports Tuesday as the Department of Education released the same information for charter schools and District 75. Charter school teachers make up a majority of the 334 reports. Their participation was optional but District 75, which serves children with special needs, had to take part for two of the three school years represented. A DOE spokesperson says the reports for the charter and District 75 schools are not comparable to those for city schools. Read More: NY1

 

Hero cop: ‘I don’t know how he didn’t hit me from that range’

The partner of the NYPD cop saved by his gun belt said the stunning sequence was like the scene in “Pulp Fiction” where a gunman opens fire on the main characters at point-blank range and misses with every shot. “We were only a couple feet away. I don’t know how he didn’t hit me from that range,” Thomas Dunne told The Post of alleged shooter Luis Martinez. Dunne’s partner, Thomas Richards, 36, was saved when a round hit the extra clip in his pocket. Read More: New York Post

Elevator guy still on job

The lift mechanic whose botched job resulted in a young ad executive getting crushed to death was still allowed to tinker with the city’s elevators yesterday. Michael Hill arrived at his home in Glen Gardner, NJ, after a long day on the job — wearing a navy blue New York Elevator Operators uniform and covered in grease. Hill was working on the city’s elevators just one day after investigators on Monday released a scathing report, accusing him of overriding the critical elevator safety system that led to Y&R ad exec Suzanne Hart’s gruesome death on Dec. 14. Read More: New York Post

Religious relics stolen from Queens synagogue


| brennison@queenscourier.com

233-12 107 PCT BURGLARY

Police are seeking suspects they say stole more than a dozen religious relics from a Queens synagogue.

The robbery occurred at Congregation Rachel Degel Israel sometime between Saturday, February 18 and Saturday, February 25, officials said.

The items removed were 3 silver Torah crowns, 2 silver Torah mini-crowns, 3 silver Torah breastplates, 4 silver Torah points and a silver cup.

Assemblymember Rory Lancman recently introduced legislation that would increase penalties for those convicted of stealing sacred items from houses of worship from four to seven years in prison.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) and entering TIP577.