Tag Archives: Yeshiva

Questions over dorms cast shadow on Glendale yeshiva’s future

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo via Googlemaps

It’s nothing personal; it’s just business.

While acknowledging they were on good terms with the owners of Glendale’s Yeshiva Godolah Seminary (YGS), Community Board 5’s (CB 5) Land Use Committee recommended on Monday that the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) deny the yeshiva’s application for a zoning variance.

The YGS seeks the variance to allow the seminary located at 74-10 88th St. to build an extension that would combine the two buildings on the campus into one four-story building. The project would also add dormitories and bathrooms for the 1,050 students who attend the facility.

“I think the community as a whole is extremely uncomfortable with how we got to this point and why we got to this point with a lack of transparency,” said CB 5 member Kathy Masi.

Committee members contend that when the building opened in 2006, the yeshiva was allowed to put dormitory space in the building when living quarters are not permitted within the M1-1 zone where the yeshiva is located, without approaching CB 5.

“The number one concern that has been related me is that [the YGS] seem to have gotten the ability to put a dorm there which was entirely against any kind of zoning regulations,” said Walter Sanchez, chair of the Land Use Committee. “We’re not sure how that happens without coming to the community board first.”

Jay Goldstein, the lawyer who represents the YGS, assured the committee that the yeshiva is operating in compliance with their Certificate of Occupancy (C of O).

“We have a C of O, again this was fully reviewed; this was not a self-certified job in 2006, there is a temporary C of O and a C of O that both reference the dormitories,” Goldstein said. “The Department of Buildings has come into the building and inspected the building and seen the dormitories, and they said … no violation warranted, it’s operating based off the C of O.”

The committee also believes that placing additional bathrooms and dormitory space in the facility will adversely affect the neighborhood’s infrastructure, mainly the water and sewage lines, where the zoning permits no residences.

The full community board will hear the Land Use Committee’s recommendation at its Oct. 14 meeting and make a recommendation of its own before sending it off to the BSA, which has the final say in granting the variance.


Opponents rail against Glendale yeshiva expansion during CB 5 meeting

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo via Googlemaps

Residents packed the CNL Center at Christ the King Regional High School in Middle Village on Wednesday night to speak out on the proposed expansion of Glendale’s Yeshiva Godolah Seminary (YGS) during a Community Board 5 public hearing.

Many in attendance opposed the YGS plan for a Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) zoning variance allowing the seminary at 74-10 88th St. to build an extension to combine the two buildings on the campus into one, four-story building, adding more dormitories and bathrooms.

“The building itself, as it stands, will remain,” said attorney Jay Goldstein, who represents the yeshiva. “The enlargement will be the one-story portion closest to 88th Street [that will] receive three additional floors which will be dormitory rooms, and then there will be a four-story addition with a cellar which will act as a gymnasium, also classrooms and the additional dorm space.”

In the variance, the YGS seeks to reclassify the yeshiva as a religious school, since the building’s use is not permitted under the existing manufacturing zoning for the site, which is in an M1-1 zoning district.

“The yeshiva currently has 1,050 students,” Goldstein said. “Those students are extremely cramped within the learning space they are in right now … and the yeshiva seeks to expand to allow them to have extra classrooms so that they can have a better learning experience.”

Currently, the yeshiva has 360 dorm beds and seeks to expand to 710 dorm beds for the current student population.

“The yeshiva is not seeking an enlargement of the building to increase the population of the school. The population of the school is going to remain the same,” Goldstein assured the board.

Opponents of the variance pointed back to 2006, when the yeshiva was constructed. According to Dawn Scala, a Glendale resident, the original certificate of occupancy (C of O) for the yeshiva listed on the Department of Buildings’ website did not mention dorms on the site.

“In October of 2007, another temporary C of O was issued. This time it did mention accessory offices and dorms,” Scala said. “In January of 2008 a final C of O was issued and it mentions … accessory offices and dorms. So I looked at the zoning regulations and I discovered the following … sleeping accommodations are not allowed in M1-1 zone.”

This raised questions as to the legality of the current dorms at the yeshiva.

Several board members and residents also raised concerns over what adding more dormitories and bathrooms would do to the already stressed sewer system in Glendale.

“Now the dormitory situation is still the same as it was in 2006, we have a faulty infrastructure in Glendale, as the chair will tell you,” said Kathy Masi, CB 5 member. “We’re doing sewers regularly, we’re doing roads regularly, we’re trying to get caught up, and I just feel, as I did in 2006, that the impact on this is going to be terrible for the community.”

Although the community has concerns over the expansion, the YGS believes that if the BSA grants the variance for the extension, it will benefit the community by lowering the number of buses the yeshiva requires to transport students to and from their homes in Williamsburg to the school each day.

“By allowing for the additional beds it will significantly reduce the number of buses that travel back and forth every day,” Goldstein said. “It’s anticipated that the number of buses will be cut, approximately, in half.”

The CB 5 Land Use Committee is looking to set up a meeting with the YGS to tour the yeshiva and evaluate the property and the proposed expansion before making a recommendation to the board.


CB 5 to examine proposed expansion of Glendale yeshiva

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Christopher Bride/Property Shark

Glendale residents can speak out at next week’s Community Board 5 meeting regarding plans to build additional dormitories and classroom space at the neighborhood’s Yeshiva Godolah Seminary (YGS).

Plans to expand the campus located at 74-10 88th St., the former Monarch knitting mill, will be the focus of a public hearing at the Sept. 9 meeting of CB 5, which will begin at 7 p.m. in the CNL Center at Christ the King Regional High School in Middle Village.

Currently serving 1,050 students within two buildings on the site, the YGS is seeking a Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) variance to erect an extension and unite the buildings into one, four-story campus. The expansion would result in the creation of 28 new classrooms and 177 dormitory rooms, accommodating approximately 710 dormitory beds.

Abraham Markowitz, YGS building manager, told the Ridgewood Times on Monday the extension will allow more students to reside on campus; currently, the facility offers dormitory rooms accommodating 360 individuals. The remaining pupils are shuttled from their homes in Williamsburg to Glendale each day via school buses that the yeshiva charters.

The additional dormitories would reduce the number of daily school bus trips from 15 to between four and six, Markowitz said. The expansion plans also call for the creation of a second curb cut from 88th Street, which would allow school buses to queue up on the yeshiva grounds rather than along the roadway.

“This is much better for the traffic and will be good for the community,” Markowitz said.

Before constructing the additions, he noted, the YGS must receive a BSA variance because the building’s use is not permitted under the existing manufacturing zoning for the site. Originally opened as a trade school — which is permitted “as-of-right” under manufacturing zoning rules — the yeshiva would be reclassified as a religious school under the variance.

The building could be completed within up to two years should the zoning variance be approved, according to Markowitz.

Speakers at the public hearing will each have up to 3 minutes to voice their opinions.

The Sept. 9 CB 5 meeting will also feature a hearing on capital and expense budget ideas related to Ridgewood, Glendale, Maspeth and Middle Village for the city’s 2017 fiscal year. CB 5 members will use the feedback provided at this hearing in forming its list of budget priorities in October.

Also on the agenda is a public forum, reports from Chairperson Vincent Arcuri and District Manager Gary Giordano, a review of demolition notices, a rundown of liquor license applications and committee reports.

For more information or to register to speak, call 718-366-1834.


Far Rockaway teen busted for anti-Semitic graffiti at LIRR station

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of MTA Long Island Rail Road

A Far Rockaway teen has been arrested for defacing the Cedarhurst Long Island Rail Road station with anti-Semitic graffiti on eight occasions, the MTA said.

Jonathan Schuster, 18, has been charged with felony criminal mischief in the third degree as a hate crime, criminal mischief in the fourth degree and making graffiti, according to MTA police.

A senior at Priority-1:Torah Academy of Lawrence-Cedarhurst, a yeshiva located in the town, Schuster allegedly committed the acts starting in December 2012. He is accused of using a black marker to write anti-Semitic statements, which usually contained expletives, on platform advertising billboards, police said.

His arrest comes after a year-long investigation that included uniformed patrols and surveillance by undercover detectives, according to the MTA. A wanted poster was also issued last month and a reward was offered for any information leading to the perpetrator’s arrest. Tips lead detectives to Schuster who allegedly confessed to the crime, police said.

Since December 2012, there have been 11 incidents in which anti-Semitic graffiti was scrawled on advertisements at three Long Island Rail Road stations in the Five Towns area of Nassau County, including the eight at Cedarhurst station, three at Lawrence station and one at Hewlett station, authorities said.

MTA Police are continuing to investigate the other incidents.



Police pursue man in connection with anti-Semitic activity

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

The NYPD is searching for man who allegedly wrote racial slurs about Jewish people.

Randy Evans is wanted for criminal mischief. Evans wrote anti-Semitic messages on a Yeshiva, a residential home and two vehicles in Far Rockaway on June 24 around 8:30 a.m. in the confines of the 101st Precinct, cops said. Evans is described as a black man about 5’8” and 160 pounds.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). All calls are confidential.





Top Headlines From Around the Web

| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

TLC Holds Final Vote On Plan Allowing Livery Cab Hails

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Report: City Steps Up Enforcement Of Parks Smoking Ban

After mostly looking the other way, city parks officers have been stepping up enforcement of the smoking ban in city parks. According to the Wall Street Journal, officers have handed out 108 summonses so far this year for smoking at parks, beaches and pedestrian plazas. That’s compared to just 84 tickets that were issued in the first eight months of the ban. Violators face a $50 fine. The ban was originally billed as a self-enforcing law. Read More: NY1


FBI agents search Manhattan apartment for remains of Etan Patz

A team of investigators was tearing up an empty SoHo basement Thursday morning in a hunt for the remains of long-missing 6-year-old Etan Patz. The joint FBI/NYPD team, which began searching around 8:30 a.m., was reinvestigating the cold case that has captivated the nation for the last 33 years, said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne. “Information that was known at the time is being re-examined,” Browne said. “It does involve a suspect. They’re looking to see if they find any remains.” Read More: Daily News
Hollis community leaders aim to take back abandoned buildings

Next to the scores of children enjoying recess at Renaissance Middle School’s playground is a brick wasteland that stretches for two blocks in Hollis. In most of the dilapidated buildings — on one side of Hollis Ave. between 202nd St. and 204th St. — the windows are boarded up, shattered or cracked. Some have crumbling front steps. Others have walls cracked to their foundation. Weeds have taken over lawns and sidewalks, and trash is strewn in the back yards. If it looks desolate and deserted, that’s because they’ve been abandoned for 16 years, said community leaders, who have tried in vain to buy the buildings from the landlord, Rita Stark. Read More: Daily News
Secret Service pre-planned party at Colombian Hotel

Secret Service agents did their own sexy advance work — booking a hotel party space for prostitutes in Colombia before hitting the town to scout local pros, according to a new report.President Obama’s men made reservations for a party room, big enough to hold 30 people, at at the Hotel Caribe in Cartagena, and then hit a local brothel, ABC News reported today. The boom-boom room bombshell shows that disgraced agents were getting the lay of the land, in advance to long night of fun. Read More: New York Post

Parents of young girls sexually assaulted by Yeshiva tutor lash out at perv

The parents of two young girls who were sexually assaulted by their religious tutor, lashed out this morning at the “wolf in sheep’s clothing” they allowed in their homes as a judge tossed the pervert in jail. Yeshiva student Hillel Selznick, 25, of Flushing, admitted to Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter that he inappropriately touched the two fourth graders over the course of a year during private religious lessons inside their Kew Gardens Hills homes. Read More: New York Post

Liu hints he might abandon run for mayor in light of scandal

| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Liu hints he might abandon run for mayor in light of scandal

Beleaguered city Comptroller John Liu hinted last night he might abandon a run for mayor following the arrest of his campaign treasurer in the mushrooming straw-donor fund-raising scandal. “All options are on the table. We’re moving forward,” Liu said in a vague response to questions about his future before hosting a Black History Month event at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn. Read More: New York Post

Sex attack on elderly Fresh Meadows woman

A 67-year-old Queens woman was sexually assaulted in her home after she invited in a man who had asked for a glass of water, cops said. She encountered the pervert Monday in her building in Fresh Meadows at 2 p.m. When she invited him in, he pulled a knife and forced her to perform a sex act. Police said he is black, between 45 and 65 years old, 5-foot-9 and weighs 160 pounds. He wore black-rimmed glasses. Read More: New York Post

Yeshiva tutor admits molesting girls, 8

A yeshiva student trusted by parents to tutor their children pleaded guilty yesterday to sexually molesting two fourth-graders. Hillel Selznick, 25, of Flushing, told Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter he inappropriately touched the two 8-year-old girls over the course of a year during private tutoring lessons inside the victims’ homes. Read More: New York Post

Fanning racial fires

A tutorial workshop for the upcoming FDNY entrance exam turned raucous last night when the organization that represents black firefighters — which was hosting the Queens event — turned away whites who wanted to attend. “This is absurd,” fumed Rob, a 21-year-old who was one of about 60 whites refused entry by the Vulcan Society at MS 72 in Jamaica and whose angry reaction drew 30 NYPD cops and school safety officers. Read More: New York Post

TSA Introduces Expedited Security Screening Lane At JFK

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Queens Film Festival Gives Credit To Local Talent

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The Monkees lead singer Davy Jones dead at 66 from heart attack

| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

The Monkees lead singer Davy Jones dead at 66 from heart attack

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Yeshiva student pleads guilty to sexually molesting two fourth-graders

A Yeshiva student who was trusted by parents to tutor their children pleaded guilty today for sexually molesting two fourth grade students. Hillel Selznick, 25 of Flushing, admitted to Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter that he inappropriately touched a set of eight-year-old girls — over a year-long period — during private tutoring lessons inside the victim’s homes. Selznick, who was a student at Rabbinical Seminary of America, pleaded to two counts of course sexual misconduct against a child and will be sentenced on April 17 to six months in jail, 10 years probation, complete a sex offender program and register as sex offender. Read More: New York Post

Police probe latest Long Island pharmacy holdup

Police on Long Island are investigating another pharmacy robbery. Newsday reported the robbery occurred Tuesday night at the Health Mart Pharmacy in Bay Shore. Suffolk County police said a gunman took cash. It is not clear if any prescription medications were also taken. The robbery follows two fatal pharmacy holdups in 2011 on Long Island. Last June, a man shot and killed two employees and two customers while robbing a Medford pharmacy. On New Year’s Eve, a federal ATF agent intervening in a Seaford pharmacy robbery was killed in a suspected “friendly fire” shooting. The holdup man also was killed. Read More: New York Post


Feds: City ring ran $275M car insurance scam

A Russian-American ring based in New York ran an audacious scheme to bilk car-insurance companies out of $275 million through bogus medical clinics that billed for phantom treatments, the feds said Wednesday. Three dozen people — including 10 doctors and three lawyers — were indicted in the scam allegedly run by fraudsters with nicknames such as “Russian Mike,” “Fat Mike” and “Skinny Mike.” The ringleaders opened a series of clinics in the city that were really fraud mills designed to exploit the state’s no-fault auto insurance law, prosecutors charged. Read More: Daily News

ROTC Teacher Charged With Groping Manhattan High School Student

An ROTC teacher at a Manhattan high school was arrested Tuesday and charged with groping a 14-year-old girl. Authorities say Darryl Lynch, a 55-year-old resident of Bridgeport, Conn. who has taught at the High School of Graphic Communication Arts since 1997, groped the student on school grounds earlier this month. The alleged victim told a guidance counselor, who then told the principal. Lynch was charged with sexual abuse, forcible touching and acting in a manner to injure a child. Read More: NY1