Synagogue has shown poor planning

FI-Letter-to-the-EditorTo the Editor

Some of the “factual allegations” in the Greenwich Reform Synagogue (GRS) lawsuit vs. the town’s Planning & Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) state:

“The Congregation does not have its own place of worship, but rather conducts all of its religious services, meetings, classes and ceremonies in an ever-changing array of rented Christian churches, schools and its members’ homes.” …. “difficulty in renting adequate space and scheduling its many activities”… “the lack of a synagogue also substantially burdens the Congregation both financially and logistically as it must schedule, set up and then take down materials necessary for its religious worship”… “Rental and lease arrangements create substantial uncertainty as to the ability of the Congregation to engage in religious exercise”… “The Congregation has no location for Saturday morning Shabbat services, as many churches use their facilities on Saturdays, making them unavailable for rental”… “Important High Holy Day services have to be held in various temporary rented locations”… “The Congregation’s need to rent office space, space for services, classroom space and the like has also caused severe financial strain, causing the Congregation to run a five-figure monthly deficit…”

After GRS sold their synagogue on Stanwich Road they had to rent facilities until they build a replacement synagogue.  Instead of a long-term contract to rent or lease a facility they chose to do a hit or miss rental of various facilities.

GRS should have realized the process for approval by the various town agencies would take a long, unpredictable, amount of time. It has been over 21 months from when GRS applied for the lot line revision on Oct. 3, 2012 with no end in sight because of the GRS lawsuit.

GRS submitted a construction plan which will take 14 months to build their new synagogue, if the project is completed on time.

Greenwich Reform Synagogue created their own hardship of having to move around various locations because they did not foresee the need for a long-term temporary facility.

If you would like a copy of the GRS Lawsuit send an email to [email protected] Request either a .pdf file or a word file and I will reply with a copy.


John Timm
Cos Cob

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