Welcome, Guest! - or
Easy to remember!  »  VinNews.com

Staten Island, NY - Hoping To Save Sanctuary, SI Synagogue Sues Oorah

Published on: July 4, 2016 10:30 PM
Change text size Text Size  

Staten Island, NY - A nine year old partnership between a New Jersey based outreach organization and a Staten Island synagogue is headed for the courtroom, one year after a beis din issued a ruling on the matter.

The dispute between the Lakewood-based Oorah and the Young Israel of Eltingville in Staten Island stems from an arrangement made in 2007. 

According to court papers, Sid Stadler, acting on behalf of the Young Israel, agreed to give Oorah sole ownership of title and the deed to the property in exchange for $250,000.  The arrangement gave the Young Israel the ability to hold services at the synagogue for as long as the shul continued to hold regular minyanim on Shabbos and Jewish holidays, as well as giving the Young Israel access to other areas for certain events. 

The Young Israel also agreed to accept Rabbi Chaim Mintz, founder of Oorah and father of the organization’s CEO, Rabbi Eliyahu Mintz, as an arbitrator in any potential problems.
Over the next several years, Oorah made substantial renovations to the property which became home to its Torah Spot Learning Center and the Little Stars Preschool, but in 2013, Oorah decided to convert the synagogue’s sanctuary into a classroom, leaving worshippers relegated to a classroom for religious services, an option that members felt would have been a death blow to the Young Israel.

Hoping to reach a mutually amenable resolution,  Stadler and Oorah agreed to go to a beis din which ultimately ruled in Oorah’s favor, saying that the Young Israel owed the organization $1 million.

That judgment prompted the synagogue to file a suit against Oorah in Richmond County State Supreme Court, asking the court to vacate the beis din’s arbitration award. The lawsuit alleged that Stadler was never officially elected president of the synagogue and that even a legally appointed president would not have had the authority to make the agreement with Oorah without the approval of the synagogue’s board of directors.

The lawsuit further charges that the sale of the property was invalid because it lacked the necessary approvals by the attorney general as required by state law in the sale of any real property by a non-profit corporation.

In a VIN News interview, Stadler described the entire chain of events as a “heartbreaking situation.”

Stadler said that dwindling membership and a dire financial situation had him looking for partners to keep the synagogue afloat in 2007.  The Young Israel took in a kollel and entered into an arrangement with long time friend, Rabbi Chaim Mintz, the former dean of a Staten Island yeshiva.

“It was the perfect situation,” Stadler told VIN News.  “They were bringing unaffiliated people in for the Torah Spot and some live here now and are part of the community.  But he decided the building wasn’t enough. He wants to turn the shul, a makom kodesh, into a classroom.”

Stadler, whose name appears on the synagogue’s official stationery as the Young Israel’s president, said he cannot understand what would possess Oorah to close a synagogue that has a minyan every Shabbos and yom tov.

“Jewish blood doesn’t shut down a shul,” said Stadler.

A spokesperson for Oorah declined to publicly comment on the matter.


More of today's headlines

Washington - Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump met with U.S. Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa on Monday, feeding speculation she could be on the short... Brooklyn, NY - Two Muslim teenagers were beaten outside a New York City mosque by an attacker who shouted slurs at them, a rights group said on Monday, calling for...

 

Advertisement:
Total44

Read Comments (44)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jul 04, 2016 at 11:03 PM jack-l Says:

taiku

2

 Jul 04, 2016 at 11:07 PM Anonymous Says:

May the SI shul be MATZLIACH in their court case.

3

 Jul 04, 2016 at 11:12 PM Anonymous Says:

Don't they make enough money from their Kars commercials that run 24/7 365

4

 Jul 04, 2016 at 11:14 PM Mark Levin Says:

I'm confused.
NCYI should be involved here too, yet there's no mention of them here.

5

 Jul 04, 2016 at 11:27 PM Anonymous Says:

Not surprising. Oorah in the name of kiruv tends to do these things. It is known as the worse place to work for years. Before you come work there for a measly $15 an hour on emust sign their life away and agree to never take them to a din torah. They have all types of rules and regulations unprecedented by any other business or organization. They are very sneaky people.

6

 Jul 05, 2016 at 01:23 AM Neptune Nathan Says:

Worst thing a shul can do is to make deals with outsiders to run their buildings. The shul and its members ALWAYS come to regret it.

7

 Jul 05, 2016 at 07:23 AM Anonymous Says:

"Jewish blood doesn't shut down a shul"

My friend , Come to KJ,

8

 Jul 05, 2016 at 09:00 AM Anonymous Says:

The facts of this broigas are in dispute and illustrate exactly why you need to retain the option of access to a secular court to resolve these kinds of issues. Some of the great gadolim of our age, including the two Satmar rabbonim shlita, have shown it is OK to use secular courts to resolve complex commercial and fact-finding matters that a din torah is very unsuited to resolve

9

 Jul 05, 2016 at 09:11 AM yonasonw Says:

Oorah has a long record of settling fraud and financial mismanagement suits brought by states Attorneys General...this just adds to the chillul Hashem. Sad.

10

 Jul 05, 2016 at 09:32 AM Herr1ng Says:

Somebody please explain : I might be missing something. How did yi only receive 250000 from oorah , and now that they can't use the shul anymore YI is the one that has to give back 1 million to oorah . MIDAS SIDOM ? Or I missed the point ?

11

 Jul 05, 2016 at 10:23 AM kenyaninwhitehouse Says:

Oorah spends enormous amount of money on adverstising, I think that alone makes me not want to give them, now definitely. The Young Israel movement is dying left and right, even the flagship YI of Flatbush has maybe 40 men on Shabbos. I guess saying a tefilla for Obama and the medina doesn't attract a big crowd nowadays.

12

 Jul 05, 2016 at 11:49 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
Herr1ng Says:

Somebody please explain : I might be missing something. How did yi only receive 250000 from oorah , and now that they can't use the shul anymore YI is the one that has to give back 1 million to oorah . MIDAS SIDOM ? Or I missed the point ?

Of course you are missing the point.

Apparently the organization spent way more than just the initial $250,000.

If you look at the article, the YI is not even contesting the amount of $1,000,000.

I would think that the midas sdom is the YI not keeping to its words regarding the sale it made.

13

 Jul 05, 2016 at 11:51 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
yonasonw Says:

Oorah has a long record of settling fraud and financial mismanagement suits brought by states Attorneys General...this just adds to the chillul Hashem. Sad.

Apparently you have a long history of skewing facts.

There was no fraud or financial mismanagement suits.

But I guess you are happy you publicly lied.

14

 Jul 05, 2016 at 12:10 PM yonasonw Says:

"I guess saying a tefilla for...medina doesn't attract a big crowd nowadays." It's said in just about all Orthodox shuls in the world, my friend. Get out of your Chareidi foxhole and smell the coffee.

15

 Jul 05, 2016 at 12:02 PM WhatsNews Says:

So let me understand this. Oorah legally purchases the property from the president of the Congregation. The contract stipulates that if there are no minyonim then Oorah may convert the building as to their liking. They go in front of a mutually pre-agreed arbitrator. The arbitrator rules like Oorah and now the Shul is upset. The shuls sole claim is that the president wasn't authorized or that it lacked the attorney generals approval. It doesn't claim anywhere breach of contract. So again, please explain why Oorah is wrong. Oh, Oorah should be nice and forget about the contract or the sale? You took $250,000 from them for that sale. What about that?

16

 Jul 05, 2016 at 12:14 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
kenyaninwhitehouse Says:

Oorah spends enormous amount of money on adverstising, I think that alone makes me not want to give them, now definitely. The Young Israel movement is dying left and right, even the flagship YI of Flatbush has maybe 40 men on Shabbos. I guess saying a tefilla for Obama and the medina doesn't attract a big crowd nowadays.

Also, how they treat visitors coming to the the public Kiddush on Shabbos is simply shocking. Comments such as, "Where do these people come from?" and "I wish these people wouldn't come here and eat our food!" followed, by another adding an "AMEN!" do nothing to encourage new membership, but on the contrary chase potential new members away!

17

 Jul 05, 2016 at 12:22 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #14  
yonasonw Says:

"I guess saying a tefilla for...medina doesn't attract a big crowd nowadays." It's said in just about all Orthodox shuls in the world, my friend. Get out of your Chareidi foxhole and smell the coffee.

Maybe that's one of the reasons many of them are just maintaining themselves at best.

18

 Jul 05, 2016 at 12:23 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
kenyaninwhitehouse Says:

Oorah spends enormous amount of money on adverstising, I think that alone makes me not want to give them, now definitely. The Young Israel movement is dying left and right, even the flagship YI of Flatbush has maybe 40 men on Shabbos. I guess saying a tefilla for Obama and the medina doesn't attract a big crowd nowadays.

You are right on all points sir!

19

 Jul 05, 2016 at 12:25 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
kenyaninwhitehouse Says:

Oorah spends enormous amount of money on adverstising, I think that alone makes me not want to give them, now definitely. The Young Israel movement is dying left and right, even the flagship YI of Flatbush has maybe 40 men on Shabbos. I guess saying a tefilla for Obama and the medina doesn't attract a big crowd nowadays.

That's a flash mob compared to what the YI of Brighton Beach gets on Shabbos.

20

 Jul 05, 2016 at 12:32 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #12  
Anonymous Says:

Of course you are missing the point.

Apparently the organization spent way more than just the initial $250,000.

If you look at the article, the YI is not even contesting the amount of $1,000,000.

I would think that the midas sdom is the YI not keeping to its words regarding the sale it made.

Of course the YI is contesting the amount of $1,000,000! Go back to law school!

21

 Jul 05, 2016 at 12:32 PM Lihagan Says:

Obviously, there is much more to this story than what is reported... In my dealings with Oorah, there is nothing sneaky about the people (by anonymous) or their motives (implied by yonasonw). Personally, I have benefited by their generosity, inspiration and motivation to be a better person, father and Jew!

22

 Jul 05, 2016 at 12:33 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #15  
WhatsNews Says:

So let me understand this. Oorah legally purchases the property from the president of the Congregation. The contract stipulates that if there are no minyonim then Oorah may convert the building as to their liking. They go in front of a mutually pre-agreed arbitrator. The arbitrator rules like Oorah and now the Shul is upset. The shuls sole claim is that the president wasn't authorized or that it lacked the attorney generals approval. It doesn't claim anywhere breach of contract. So again, please explain why Oorah is wrong. Oh, Oorah should be nice and forget about the contract or the sale? You took $250,000 from them for that sale. What about that?

Wrong, the shul wants to hold services every Shabbos.

23

 Jul 05, 2016 at 12:36 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
kenyaninwhitehouse Says:

Oorah spends enormous amount of money on adverstising, I think that alone makes me not want to give them, now definitely. The Young Israel movement is dying left and right, even the flagship YI of Flatbush has maybe 40 men on Shabbos. I guess saying a tefilla for Obama and the medina doesn't attract a big crowd nowadays.

The YI of Flatbush better take head to this story. The Yeshiva of Flatbush right next door to them offered a similar deal.

24

 Jul 05, 2016 at 12:37 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #14  
yonasonw Says:

"I guess saying a tefilla for...medina doesn't attract a big crowd nowadays." It's said in just about all Orthodox shuls in the world, my friend. Get out of your Chareidi foxhole and smell the coffee.

And yet the facts prove you wrong. Look, the YI can hardly pull together a minyan.

But being wrong is what you always are and I guess that is how you are comfortable.
Pull you head out of where the sun doesn't shine and put it back in the sand.

25

 Jul 05, 2016 at 12:38 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #13  
Anonymous Says:

Apparently you have a long history of skewing facts.

There was no fraud or financial mismanagement suits.

But I guess you are happy you publicly lied.

He's referring to the AG's requiring them to pay for their Kars for Kids commercial issues.

26

 Jul 05, 2016 at 12:49 PM Herr1ng Says:

Reply to #12  
Anonymous Says:

Of course you are missing the point.

Apparently the organization spent way more than just the initial $250,000.

If you look at the article, the YI is not even contesting the amount of $1,000,000.

I would think that the midas sdom is the YI not keeping to its words regarding the sale it made.

please explain the "Apparently the organization spent way more than just the initial $250,000" if oorah owned the building y should yi pay for renovations that benefit themselves , especially when yi cant even use it. again unless we are ssing the main part of the argument

27

 Jul 05, 2016 at 01:09 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #15  
WhatsNews Says:

So let me understand this. Oorah legally purchases the property from the president of the Congregation. The contract stipulates that if there are no minyonim then Oorah may convert the building as to their liking. They go in front of a mutually pre-agreed arbitrator. The arbitrator rules like Oorah and now the Shul is upset. The shuls sole claim is that the president wasn't authorized or that it lacked the attorney generals approval. It doesn't claim anywhere breach of contract. So again, please explain why Oorah is wrong. Oh, Oorah should be nice and forget about the contract or the sale? You took $250,000 from them for that sale. What about that?

you say no minyonim
schedule ..
erev shabbos mincha marriv.. 40 people show up.
update.. to not knowing
shabbos morning 20 people show up
shabbos afternoon shiurim for children..about 10-15 show up
2 separate shiurim for men and women..giving by our two kollels
mincha followed by a sumptuous .shalos seuda
marriv..15 people show up keep 72 min...
Sunday morning 8 am minyan..about 20 people show up
rabbi goldman's Gemara shiur from YSI for over 30 years every monday night at 8 pm(come one ..come all)
every day shiurim and learning by our kollels and our yeshiva bochurim
achron achron chaviv
rwo beautiful clean mikvas one for women with separate enttrance
and mens mikva ..used everyday by the kollel, bochrim and all different shuls on staten island
Chazak to all and to YIE bli ayin hora.. going into the 43rd year.. kain yibu

28

 Jul 05, 2016 at 02:19 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #26  
Herr1ng Says:

please explain the "Apparently the organization spent way more than just the initial $250,000" if oorah owned the building y should yi pay for renovations that benefit themselves , especially when yi cant even use it. again unless we are ssing the main part of the argument

Who said renovations? I am sure there were mortgages that were paid by Oorah as well.

Court records are clear.


The YI was using the building all along.

29

 Jul 05, 2016 at 02:29 PM clear-thinker Says:

Reply to #8  
Anonymous Says:

The facts of this broigas are in dispute and illustrate exactly why you need to retain the option of access to a secular court to resolve these kinds of issues. Some of the great gadolim of our age, including the two Satmar rabbonim shlita, have shown it is OK to use secular courts to resolve complex commercial and fact-finding matters that a din torah is very unsuited to resolve

You obviously misunderstand. The Satmar Rebbes may go to secular court. It is everyone else who cannot

30

 Jul 05, 2016 at 02:45 PM Benny Says:

Reply to #15  
WhatsNews Says:

So let me understand this. Oorah legally purchases the property from the president of the Congregation. The contract stipulates that if there are no minyonim then Oorah may convert the building as to their liking. They go in front of a mutually pre-agreed arbitrator. The arbitrator rules like Oorah and now the Shul is upset. The shuls sole claim is that the president wasn't authorized or that it lacked the attorney generals approval. It doesn't claim anywhere breach of contract. So again, please explain why Oorah is wrong. Oh, Oorah should be nice and forget about the contract or the sale? You took $250,000 from them for that sale. What about that?

A) If Oorah would buy the rights for the shul from the genitor of the Shul - would it be a legal sale?
Did the board sign on it?
That's a question.
B) why would the people who work for or own the Oorah be those who decide when there is a disagreement?
It should be 3 party that has no negios at all.
C) if someone would come to your neighborhood and legally bought a last small Shul where people daven, and then kick those people out legally - it doesn't look right to me.
It's not how the kiruv should be done!

31

 Jul 05, 2016 at 02:48 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #24  
Anonymous Says:

And yet the facts prove you wrong. Look, the YI can hardly pull together a minyan.

But being wrong is what you always are and I guess that is how you are comfortable.
Pull you head out of where the sun doesn't shine and put it back in the sand.

Based on your language I bet you work for them in one way or another.

32

 Jul 05, 2016 at 03:00 PM Seen it all Says:

Many of these "kiruv" organizations have a very limited view of kiruv. If you don't fit into their desired demographics, well then you just don't count. Here we have the perfect example.

33

 Jul 05, 2016 at 03:02 PM Anonymous Says:

Es postnisht the way Oohrah is handling this.

34

 Jul 05, 2016 at 03:03 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #31  
Anonymous Says:

Based on your language I bet you work for them in one way or another.

And you too would be wrong.
Birds of a feather who flock together.

35

 Jul 05, 2016 at 03:13 PM yonasonw Says:

Reply to #24  
Anonymous Says:

And yet the facts prove you wrong. Look, the YI can hardly pull together a minyan.

But being wrong is what you always are and I guess that is how you are comfortable.
Pull you head out of where the sun doesn't shine and put it back in the sand.

Man, you are an angry Oorah apologist.

36

 Jul 05, 2016 at 03:34 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #21  
Lihagan Says:

Obviously, there is much more to this story than what is reported... In my dealings with Oorah, there is nothing sneaky about the people (by anonymous) or their motives (implied by yonasonw). Personally, I have benefited by their generosity, inspiration and motivation to be a better person, father and Jew!

Go work for them and see their terms of contract compared to other businesses in town. Its a well known fact that unless a lady wants to sign her life away you don't work for Oorah.

37

 Jul 05, 2016 at 03:34 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #30  
Benny Says:

A) If Oorah would buy the rights for the shul from the genitor of the Shul - would it be a legal sale?
Did the board sign on it?
That's a question.
B) why would the people who work for or own the Oorah be those who decide when there is a disagreement?
It should be 3 party that has no negios at all.
C) if someone would come to your neighborhood and legally bought a last small Shul where people daven, and then kick those people out legally - it doesn't look right to me.
It's not how the kiruv should be done!

Genitor?

How about if what was by the President (which means President of the Board) and guess what, it apparently was. This person, according to the "article" above, who is still listed on official stationary as President.

38

 Jul 05, 2016 at 03:59 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #30  
Benny Says:

A) If Oorah would buy the rights for the shul from the genitor of the Shul - would it be a legal sale?
Did the board sign on it?
That's a question.
B) why would the people who work for or own the Oorah be those who decide when there is a disagreement?
It should be 3 party that has no negios at all.
C) if someone would come to your neighborhood and legally bought a last small Shul where people daven, and then kick those people out legally - it doesn't look right to me.
It's not how the kiruv should be done!

Well said!

39

 Jul 05, 2016 at 04:07 PM jack-l Says:

still taiku.. If you cant make a mishibayrach for the medina at least make a mishibayrach for my nephews and the hundreds of other frum boys that are shomer Torah and mitzvas, quite learned, real jew lovers, and BH living with their wonderful families where a jew should live.

40

 Jul 05, 2016 at 09:23 AM yonasonw Says:

Your article is an example of poor journalism. It omits any comments by or interviews with Young Israel members opposed to Stadler...which were published in detail in the NY Jewish Week story in their July 1st edition.

In doing so, you present only part of the story; you leave your readers in the dark about how secretive the Stadler/Oorah deal seems to have been, about the law suit's substance, and about the conflict of interest allegations against the Mintz father/son duo.

41

 Jul 05, 2016 at 05:20 PM Comeonalready Says:

Reply to #31  
Anonymous Says:

Based on your language I bet you work for them in one way or another.

you are for sure on the ball. #15 must be mintz or one of his guys too. LOL
#27 clealry is from the shul or a neighbor lol
I heard the kollel guys are the ones trying to fight off oorah bec the shul people couldn't stand up to the giant...
something must be missing from this story, why would oorah need the shul room if they have others?

42

 Jul 05, 2016 at 05:31 PM Herr1ng Says:

Reply to #28  
Anonymous Says:

Who said renovations? I am sure there were mortgages that were paid by Oorah as well.

Court records are clear.


The YI was using the building all along.

From what I understand part of the deal was yi should be able to use it without any sort of payment. And the renovations that oorah made to benefit themselves ( look at comment thread ) shouldn't have to be paid by yi. Unless that was the deal , but it doesn't state so in the article

43

 Jul 06, 2016 at 02:42 PM Anonymous Says:

OK, so here's the missing piece of the puzzle! Just spoke to a community member. You know who this "bais din" was? 3 "Rabbis" paid entirely by Oorah, "because the shul couldn't afford it" ($2300 each, per sitting). Several reknown Rabbonim have told the shul members that the findings of this "Fievish" crew were null and void, even without the fact that the (former) President signed an arbitration agreement.
That explains us why a million. Because the Feivish crew asked Oorah how much they want and they said a million. When asked why they submitted papers listing their gas/electric/maintenance charges for several years, but remembering where their bread was buttered, these "Rabbis" didn't even bother reading the papers!
The real reason for Oorah's abhorrent behavior, aside from the obvious love of winning, is frustration! Yes, frustration! They opened 3 programs in the building, and 8 years later, there are: less than 20 kids COLLECTIVELY in all 3 classes of Littlestar (can you figure out why they needed to build classrooms in the Shul?), they need to bus in frum girls to attend the Tuesday night shiur to fill the room for the picture (I think they bait them with food, like fish

44

 Jul 06, 2016 at 10:13 PM WhatsNews Says:

43, The Shul elected president signs a contract - but he wasn't authorized to. The arbitrator listed on the contract that was pre-agreed to by both parties was Biased. The Beis Din that you elected to hear the case was paid off. It seems that anyone and everyone that doesn't give you the verdict you want is being paid off. I guess if it goes to court and they rule against the shul, you will find something wrong with them.

45

Sign-in to post a comment

Scroll Up
Advertisements:

Sell your scrap gold and broken jewelry and earn hard cash sell gold today!