3/15/09

Recession Clobbers Teaneck Area Churches and Synagogues but not the Mosque

Looks like more edifice complex worries for our local Jews.

We hear that construction at Rinat Yisrael synagogue started in December (see here) has been put on hold due to general financial uncertainties. We also were told that rebuilding at Englewood's Orthodox synagogue has been halted in part due to major losses emanating from the Madoff-Merkin scandals. We were informed that J. Ezra Merkin's younger brother and many of his neighbors in Englewood were hit hard by the Merkin debacle and hence the shul project is up in the air.

Teaneck's Bnai Yeshurun congregation has no current building plans to cut back on. It has cancelled its annual fund raising dinner ("We couldn't find anyone who wanted to be honored") and replaced it with a less onerous souped up Shabbat afternoon sit down kiddush (with no honoree).

McClatchy News Service reports at length on cut backs at our area churches and then concludes,
A Wayne rabbi said his synagogue is committed to helping what he said is an increase in congregants having difficulty paying their membership dues.

“Our general attitude is that these are hard times, and we want everyone to be able to afford a synagogue,” said Rabbi Stephen M. Wylen of Temple Beth Tikvah. “If they are unemployed or underemployed, we will carry them.”

Some faith groups, meanwhile, have had some success even amid the downturn....

A Teaneck mosque said it raised about $30,000 during a recent one-day fund-raiser to benefit Palestinians in the war-ravaged Gaza Strip. Waheed Khalid, president of Darul Islah, said members of the mosque, in general, haven’t been hit too hard with job losses because they do not work in the banking and investment trades.

Khalid said many members work in the public sector or in the fields of engineering and architecture or medicine.

“Those jobs are not affected at the moment, and I hope they will not be,” Khalid said.

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