Rabbi Berger's shul buying Heather Ridge property

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Rabbi Berger's shul buying Heather Ridge property

Postby Stanley » Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:09 pm

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Re: Rabbi Berger's shul buying Heather Ridge property

Postby Doughnut » Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:14 pm

The blog doesn't seem to have anything in it. Did he remove the recap?

Isn't Heather Ridge far away from where they are now?
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Re: Rabbi Berger's shul buying Heather Ridge property

Postby Stanley » Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:06 pm

The property they would buy is on Fallstaff, where all the trees are, behind the Towers country club.

Not sure why you're not seeing anything. Here's the full post:

Rabbi Berger's Shul in Baltimore: Update on Moving to New Location

Membership Meeting January 28, 2008
For those members who were unable to attend the meeting in person, we would like to keep you informed. The following is a recap of the membership meeting that was held to discuss the Heather Ridge opportunity:
The meeting was called to update the Kehilla on the status and details of an opportunity to purchase 1.7 acres of undeveloped ground which fronts on Fallstaff Road from Heather Ridge.

Yitzchok Jacobovitz opened the meeting by recognizing and thanking Richard Lehman, the attorney who has graciously represented us in the negotiation with Heather Ridge. He then asked the Rav to address the membership.

Rabbi Berger gave thanks to Hashem on the opportunity that has been presented to us. He thanked all those who have put in time and effort, including Mr. Lehman and Yitzchok Jacobovitz and all those who have helped.

The Rav discussed the opportunity to build a makom kedusha which will have learning throughout the day and include the Ner Yisroel Kollel at night. He stressed that involvement from the beginning of an effort of this sort must be grounded in kedusha. He said this is like R’ Chiya who, in an effort to restore the torah, insisted on growing the flax to make the nets which would catch the deer that would be used to write the sefer torah on. He wanted the foundation of his project to be based on kedusha in order for it to have a true kiyum.

The Rav cautioned against letting argument and discord enter the project, as there will certainly be many opinions and ideas, and not all will get what they want or think is best. He closed with a bracha that we should be successful in this Kiddush shem shamaim b’rabim.

Yitzchok Jacobovitz then briefly discussed the history of the project. We had a deal with Heather Ridge four years ago to purchase this same land for $500,000. The deal was approved by their own Board. At that time their Heather Ridge Board decided to put it up for a vote to the general membership of Heather Ridge. Their membership voted the sale down. A few months ago the Board of Heather Ridge approached Kol Torah and asked us if we were still interested in purchasing the land. After negotiations we agreed on a purchase price of $850,000.

The Heather Ridge Board informed us that per consultation with their lawyers, they were under no obligation to obtain approval for this deal from their membership. They will be holding a Board meeting where their membership may attend in the near future to have a Board vote on signing a deal with Kol Torah. After their vote they plan on waiting one month to sign any deal.

The building is planned at approximately 10,000 square feet and will include a social hall for kiddushim, etc. Approximately 100 parking spaces are included in the plans. Detailed plans will require much work and discussion. The approximate costs of the building (over and above the purchase of the land) are estimated between $1.5 and $2 million.

Fund raising will be an important part of this effort, and will require the assistance and involvement of all members of the kehilla.

There will be numerous opportunities for those interested in helping to volunteer. Details of these opportunities will be disseminated to the membership shortly.

Yitzchok ended with divrei bracha and a hope that an atmosphere of achdus would prevail, and that we would see a very successful outcome to this important project.
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Re: Rabbi Berger's shul buying Heather Ridge property

Postby Warren » Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:49 am

Why the heck is the land worth 850,000 now?
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Re: Rabbi Berger's shul buying Heather Ridge property

Postby gr81t3 » Fri Feb 08, 2008 12:43 pm

where is this shul currently located?
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Re: Rabbi Berger's shul buying Heather Ridge property

Postby Stanley » Fri Feb 08, 2008 4:54 pm

Its currently in the back of Frank Storch's house, in his pool house. They have over 250 members, and are disparately looking for a permanent place.
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Re: Rabbi Berger's shul buying Heather Ridge property

Postby AlanLaz » Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:14 am

I wonder where they're getting the $$ from, especially considering that a large % of their membership consists of those in Kollel.
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Re: Rabbi Berger's shul buying Heather Ridge property

Postby yofubar » Mon Feb 11, 2008 2:00 pm

i would guess frank storch.
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Re: Rabbi Berger's shul buying Heather Ridge property

Postby Stanley » Mon Feb 11, 2008 6:46 pm

AlanLaz wrote:I wonder where they're getting the $$ from, especially considering that a large % of their membership consists of those in Kollel.

Don't you know that in order to be in Kollel, the in-laws have to be rich and be able to afford tuition for all 9 grandchildren, as well as shul building fees?
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Re: Rabbi Berger's shul buying Heather Ridge property

Postby AlanLaz » Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:14 am

ot wrote:
AlanLaz wrote:I wonder where they're getting the $$ from, especially considering that a large % of their membership consists of those in Kollel.

Don't you know that in order to be in Kollel, the in-laws have to be rich and be able to afford tuition for all 9 grandchildren, as well as shul building fees?


Well...we're about to find out if that's true after all...
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Re: Rabbi Berger's shul buying Heather Ridge property

Postby Doughnut » Wed Feb 13, 2008 10:02 am

How far away from R' Weiss' shul would this be? Would they be closer or farther away than they are now?
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Re: Rabbi Berger's shul buying Heather Ridge property

Postby Warren » Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:01 am

It's farther away from R' Weiss' shul, and close to Willowbrook.
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Re: Rabbi Berger's shul buying Heather Ridge property

Postby gr81t3 » Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:45 am

It's only farther by about 10 feet.
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Re: Rabbi Berger's shul buying Heather Ridge property

Postby AlanLaz » Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:12 pm

gr81t3 wrote:It's only farther by about 10 feet.


Uhhh. You're way off. Now, one could walk from R' Weiss to R' Berger in about a minute and a half. Under their current proposed site, you're talking about 6-8 minutes.
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Re: Rabbi Berger's shul buying Heather Ridge property

Postby gr81t3 » Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:33 pm

AlanLaz wrote:
gr81t3 wrote:It's only farther by about 10 feet.


Uhhh. You're way off. Now, one could walk from R' Weiss to R' Berger in about a minute and a half. Under their current proposed site, you're talking about 6-8 minutes.


Isn't the area proposed for the shul located on Fallstaff, where there are now trees, right next to the The Towers' pool?
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Re: Rabbi Berger's shul buying Heather Ridge property

Postby Stanley » Thu Feb 21, 2008 7:25 pm

Update on Rabbi Berger Building Update

BUILDING PROJECT UPDATE

With thanks to Hashem, we are happy to inform you that the Board of Heather Ridge voted last night to approve the sale of land on Fallstaff Rd. to our shul. As discussed in our membership meeting, this does not mean the deal is final, and there is still much work to be done. We would like to thank both the Board of Heather Ridge, and many of the residents there who expressed their ardent support for this agreement. We are confident that this deal will not only serve our purposes as a Shul, giving us a home and Makom for Kedusha, but will also greatly benefit Heather Ridge.

You will be receiving a communication shortly on a Shul membership meeting where our next steps will be discussed. We welcome your feedback and comments, and look forward to a very successful building project.

- The Board
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Re: Rabbi Berger's shul buying Heather Ridge property

Postby AlanLaz » Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:10 am

gr81t3 wrote:
AlanLaz wrote:
gr81t3 wrote:It's only farther by about 10 feet.


Uhhh. You're way off. Now, one could walk from R' Weiss to R' Berger in about a minute and a half. Under their current proposed site, you're talking about 6-8 minutes.


Isn't the area proposed for the shul located on Fallstaff, where there are now trees, right next to the The Towers' pool?


I think you're right...I thought it was going to be further down Fallstaff, but I think it is going to be closer to the pool. My bad.

And, while the board of Heather Ridge approved it, I heard that many of the residents there are unhappy with the prospects of a shul being there, and could potentially hold the deal up in litigation. Who knows...
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Re: Rabbi Berger's shul buying Heather Ridge property

Postby Stanley » Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:20 pm

http://www.jewishtimes.com/index.php/je ... odox_shul/

Anger Over Land Sale To Orthodox Shul

A land sale at Heather Ridge causes controversy.


Barbara Pash
Associate Editor

On a cold night in mid- February, residents of Heather Ridge, a condominium in the Cheswolde neighborhood of Upper Park Heights, met to discuss a contentious issue. The meeting appeared to be an attempt to clarify and inform. But, say residents who attended, it did not resolve the long-simmering dispute that, unfortunately, has pitted Jew versus Jew.

Almost no one involved with Heather Ridge will talk on the record. The exception is Norman Silver, chairman of the Heather Ridge board of directors, who basically declined to comment.

Reached before the meeting, Mr. Silver said, “Heather Ridge is an incorporated condo community of 180 families. This is a private matter and will not be commented on. There is nothing to say about it until it comes to a head” at the meeting.

Nonetheless, residents have received a flurry of letters and handouts that have been passed on to the Baltimore Jewish Times. The issue revolves around the sale of a small parcel of Heather Ridge land for the construction of an Orthodox shul. Led by Rabbi Yosef Berger, the shul’s congregants currently meet in private premises off Fallstaff Road.

Heather Ridge owns seven acres, with the condo buildings concentrated on 5.3 of those acres. The parcel being sold to the shul is a 1.7-acre vacant site that faces Fallstaff Road. Residents at the meeting were told that $850,000 was being offered for this parcel that, according to a knowledgeable source, had been appraised in the $400,000 vicinity.

This wasn’t the first time residents had heard about the offer. It was originally raised two years ago when residents, asked to vote on it, turned it down.

At the time, the Heather Ridge board was apparently under the impression that it was legally required to get residents’ approval. Subsequently, another legal opinion was obtained that said the board had the power to approve or disapprove the sale without a vote by the residents.

It doesn’t take an expert to see that the two opinions are diametrically opposed. Moreover, not all residents agreed with the second opinion, contending that a reading of the condo bylaws gave the board no such power.

Shortly thereafter, the February meeting was called although, given the board’s supposed authority in the matter, some residents questioned its purpose. Soon, the letters and handouts began appearing.

There was talk of removing the board members, who are elected, because of questions about motives and actions. There were accusations that the board had hid the second legal opinion from residents, that the second opinion merely rubber-stamped the desire of the board, and that the meeting was purposely scheduled for a date when roughly 20 percent of the condo residents would be out of town.

Board members responded with a letter of their own emphasizing their fiscal responsibility and reminding of moves they had made to save the condo owners money. Included was a spreadsheet that showed the condo had almost $136,000 in the bank, a figure that was insufficient for future capital expenses.

Heather Ridge is predominantly Jewish but even though it is located in northwest Baltimore City, a stronghold of Orthodoxy, different denominations are represented.

At the February meeting, residents said a vote on the land sale was taken, but by the board members only. That appeared to be the formal purpose of the meeting, where, not unexpectedly, the financial benefit to all Heather Ridge residents was emphasized.

The board after both meetings voted to sell the land and the case is closed.
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Re: Rabbi Berger's shul buying Heather Ridge property

Postby Zek » Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:00 am

That article is misleading. I don't see any "anger".
If it were me, I'd be upset and wouldnt want this type of shul near my house.
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