The weekly BaKehilla reports that the rav of a shul asked a question of HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Halevy Wosner Shlita, explaining that a new building was being constructed and after taking bids from contractors the cheapest price was from a non-Jewish contractor.
The rav of the shul asked Rav Wosner if it is preferable to use the non-Jew and save the money, and in this case the sum was considerable, or to have the shul built by a Jew, perhaps giving preference to a Shomer Shabbos Jew.
Rav Wosner explained that l’chatchila; it is preferable to give the job to a Jew but pointed out that not everyone is in agreement concerning this matter. Therefore, if the difference in price between a Jewish contractor and a non-Jew is significant, then the non-Jew should be used to avoid wasting public funds. However, once they approach the finishing of the structure, then a Shomer Shabbos Jew should be hired since a shul has kedusha and it is preferable to have someone working who understands the concept of kedusha, pointing out this is learned in seforim, and doing this will contribute to the success of the shul.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)