The Jewish Press reports:
Last Monday night’s deadline for Congregation Machzikei Torah to abandon its premises at the Zvi Dov Roth Academy of Yeshiva Rambam in Flatbush came and passed. The congregation’s leader, Rabbi Moshe Toiv, says he isn’t going anywhere.
“If they attempt to force us out,” he said, “we’ll call the police.”
For over 30 years the congregation has called Rambam’s high school building its home. This year, however, Rambam rented its entire first floor to the Hebrew Language Academy Charter School – the first school of its kind in New York and only the second in the country – thereby forcing out the congregation.
Rabbi Toiv is outraged. “For over 60 years people have been putting together their pennies and dollars in order to have a place for children to study and learn Torah . But now Rambam is renting [its building] to this new charter school, which by law is not permitted to teach anything of faith. They took out the mezuzahs; they’re going to have to take out my sifrei Torah.”
But Rambam’s president and chairman of the board, Alex Rovt, said Rabbi Toiv is being unreasonable. Rovt, who donates $300,000 to Rambam annually, said the high school is in dire financial straits and needs the rent money from the charter school.
“If I have to choose to pull out a shul or [be forced] to let 110 children go to public school [as a result of Rambam folding], I will choose to pull out the shul,” he said.
“This is my decision and the board’s decision. We took the charter school for a simple reason: to get money. We don’t have money.”
As for the congregation’s future, Rovt said, “Of course, I will not throw him out before Yom Tov . But if they won’t go, we’ll go to the courts.”
(Source: The Jewish Press)