Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Still delaying my followup to the haggadah, because I'm pissed.

I'm a board member of the Kew Gardens Hills [Queens] Civic Association. (It's not as impressive as it sounds, but I think it's important.) There was a board meeting last night, I was tired and really wanted to hook up with the now-ex, but I went. Came a few minutes late, OK. Didn't stay till the bitter end, OK. But we got to discuss some important stuff. And then comes this:

The president announces we have some visitors- three couples (I thought I saw some new people). They're from the block of Yeshiva Or Hachaim, which is Touro-affiliated and run by Touro College president Bernard Lander's son (natch), R. Daniel (YU-won't-admit-it type). Two are from across the street, but it's the ones from down the block that have the biggest issue.

A bit of history: There was a co-ed day school in Forest Hills called Yeshiva Dov Revel (named after the first Yeshiva University president, but not affiliated). Touro College, which loves to take stuff- particularly land and buildings- over, took it over, threw out the girls, established a school (continuing ed or something) in the building, shut down Dov Revel and merged it with Tiferes Moshe, another yeshiva in Kew Gardens (my alma mater), with classes split between the two buildings. They also opened a high school affiliated with Or Hachaim there.

Now Lander Jr. wants to move the HS to Kew Gardens Hills, next door to his yeshiva, probably to free up space for his dad to teach Russians in Forest Hills. He wants to build a gym, dorms- one look at how narrow the street is and you'll see why people across the street are concerned. He owns a few houses down- uses them for dorms- but wants more. And so he wants to buy out the next house, owned by the people who were at the meeting. They don't want to move. And so he's threatening to build anyway, right up to them- and it's an attached home! He'd be knocking down one wall, getting in their way...yuck.

Worst part was when they said, "But he's a rabbi! He shouldn't be acting like that!" And someone else had to inform them that rabbis can be just as rude as other people. I hate chilul hashems. And there was nothing we could do about it. He can do whatever he wants. I left after a bit, didn't want to hear more. I wish I could have said something to them, but what? Condolences?

Think I fixed the comments issue. I had noticed their note, but didn't think it applied to me.

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