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Rockland County, NY - Village Of Airmont Gives Lipa's Shul Stamp of Approval

Published on: March 26, 2010 01:29 PM
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Rockland County, NY - If you need advice on getting your building plans approved, you might want to talk to Lipa Schmeltzer.
Despite the fact that the Village of Airmont has been sued twice in Federal Court for religious discrimination, the Chassidic superstar faced no obstacles in getting plans for a synagogue in his home approved.  Lipa’s secret?  Playing by the rules. 
From the start, Lipa made sure that both the planning board and his neighbors knew that he was committed to being flexible and cooperative.  When the planning board decided that a proposed dome violated zoning regulations, plans for the dome were scrapped.  When a neighbor voiced concern that headlights from cars leaving the parking lot might shine into his house late at night, Lipa volunteered to plant trees on his neighbor’s lawn to block the offending headlights.  The Shul, Beis Medrash D’Airmont is open only on Shabbos.
In an exclusive interview with VIN News, Lipa stressed how grateful he was for the opportunity to make a Kiddush Hashem saying, “Everything is doable if you just do it right.  The town said yes because they saw we were cooperative.  We listened to everything they wanted us to do and we did it.”

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Lipa’s attorney, Ryan Karben, explained that getting approval was a relatively smooth, if time consuming process, saying, “We found the village to constructive and cooperative.  The spirit of cooperation we manifested from the beginning prevented this from escalating into something divisive.  The first rule is to be a good neighbor and then hopefully, people will be a good neighbor to you as well.” 
Obviously that that approach worked well.  Daniel Kraushaar, Village Attorney for the Village of Airmont confirmed that Lipa received site plan approval last night and has been given the green light to go ahead with his plans. 
“This was a textbook case of an applicant and board working together,” said Kraushaar.  “The applicant was extremely accommodating.  It would be nice if all applications were handled in the same fashion and that both the applicant and the board could work as well as they did last night.”

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Read Comments (58)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Mar 26, 2010 at 01:34 PM Happy for him Says:

Baruch Hashem. Lipa may think he is just a poshiter yid but what he doesn’t know is that he brings simcha and geshmak to so many yidden out there. I’m sure there are many chassidish boys on the fringe that get a huge chizuk from him and Kiruv rechokim is no small thing. He should continue to have Hatzlacha and Bracha in all his endeavors and be a Keli to be Marbeh Kvod Shomayim.

2

 Mar 26, 2010 at 01:36 PM Velvel Says:

Wonderful news for Lipa and his supporters.

3

 Mar 26, 2010 at 01:46 PM bubby green Says:

The shul should be named, "khal Kiddush Hashem - Ateres Lipa"!

4

 Mar 26, 2010 at 01:59 PM shachen tov - roeh es hanolad Says:

Rabbi Viener's Shul in Wesley Hills has worked with the community and board in the same way and has enjoyed the same success in its Building Project.

Let's strive to be good neighbors instead of forcing our way and making enemies. Is Hashem proud of us when we build a Shul or Yeshiva that makes our host country's citizens enraged enough to mobilize against us?

5

 Mar 26, 2010 at 02:16 PM Anonymous Says:

Is he becoming a Rebbe? first the hagadah now a shul...

6

 Mar 26, 2010 at 02:17 PM Anonymous Says:

B'H Mir Zollen Alla Oif Hiben Inzira Hentelech Tzim Tata In Himmel

7

 Mar 26, 2010 at 02:24 PM Hanah Bustillo Says:

Wow!! B''H MAZEL TOV!!!!

8

 Mar 26, 2010 at 02:44 PM Shmuela Says:

This guy has a shule now? Wow what has the world come to?

9

 Mar 26, 2010 at 02:48 PM Anonymous Says:

Yasher Koach Lipa.

10

 Mar 26, 2010 at 02:49 PM Know the facts Says:

While I am very happy that Lipas shul gained approval, the circumstances were markedly different from the original Airmont shul cases. The zoning and planning boards at that time would not contemplate the idea of any type of shul and tried to enact laws which would forbade groups of 10 or more people meeting on a regular basis (i.e. a minyan). They were trying to prevent frum people from moving into the area. The only way for frum people to have a shul in that neighborhood was to bring the case to court.

In fact had the original court cases never occurred, Lipas shul would likely have never been more than a dream.

11

 Mar 26, 2010 at 02:55 PM Anonymous Says:

This guy can sing his way out of anything.

12

 Mar 26, 2010 at 02:59 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
bubby green Says:

The shul should be named, "khal Kiddush Hashem - Ateres Lipa"!

I second the motion. Maybe this article should be sent to all the rabbonim who signed against Lipa's concert. Let them see that playing by the civil law rules that the American governing institutions set up does pay in the long run. No chilul Hashem, yes kiddush Hashem. Of course there's always the famous vort of the Satmar Rebbe ztzl R' Yoelish who said when asked about something illegal, there's a heter meah rabbonim.

13

 Mar 26, 2010 at 03:03 PM Anonymous Says:

Only open on shabbos so what's the problem with headlights?

14

 Mar 26, 2010 at 03:06 PM poshiter yid Says:

What's a poshiter yid running a Shul. Hatzlacha raba Lipa in the zchus of the simcha you bring to yidden hashem should bentch you with gezunt parnassah and nachas

15

 Mar 26, 2010 at 03:17 PM Monsey Yid Says:

As much as I disagree with Lipa on other issues, I must congratulate him for behaving like a mench during the processes, I live in Monsey, the jews here think that the only way of getting things done is by pushing themselves thru laws, filing law suits and claiming anti-semitism at each turn, thus angrying everyone around them. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you Monsey is the “Yir Hachilul hashem” of the world.
Maybe I will buy his hagada after all.

16

 Mar 26, 2010 at 03:22 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

Is he becoming a Rebbe? first the hagadah now a shul...

Of course he is the Chacham from the Mah Nishtana

17

 Mar 26, 2010 at 03:22 PM Williamsburgher Says:

Reply to #8  
Shmuela Says:

This guy has a shule now? Wow what has the world come to?

I think it was Mr. Roth from Roth clothing, who used to say that he makes Rebbes, because for a thousand dollars or so you can buy by him alll shmona begodim and presto, you're a Rebbe.

18

 Mar 26, 2010 at 03:25 PM Al Capone Says:

The feds got him to sing...

19

 Mar 26, 2010 at 03:27 PM Dovid Winiarz Says:

It is a shame that "playing by the rules" is newsworthy. I remember the story of the two chasidim who came to America in the 1920s and asked the rebbe if they should say they were younger in order to find work or older in order to get benefits sooner. replied the rebbe, "How about telling the truth?" While it is a shame that it is so unique that it makes the news, kudos to VIN for highlighting it to be m'chazek others to do the same. Looking forward to the day when all the news is recognizably good news.

20

 Mar 26, 2010 at 03:31 PM Kollelnik Says:

Smart move. Why risk being thrown out of every shul if you can build your own.

21

 Mar 26, 2010 at 03:34 PM Airmont Says:

Reply to #3  
bubby green Says:

The shul should be named, "khal Kiddush Hashem - Ateres Lipa"!

The shul name is "Airmont Shul", and yes it was a big kidush hashem last night in the Airmont village hall, where many yiden came together to show our support for Lipa trying to build a bais hashem in a place where no one could.

22

 Mar 26, 2010 at 04:12 PM I am Says:

WOW mazel tov Lipa!!
What can i say more than this, that You are truly a "Moisef v'hoilech"!!!

Your manners and Honesty shows and reflects your inner golden heart & your Middos!

Keep it up -

23

 Mar 26, 2010 at 04:25 PM TBJ Says:

Reply to #13  
Anonymous Says:

Only open on shabbos so what's the problem with headlights?

Motzei Shabbos leaving the parking lot. What time you figure they finish Maariv there in the middle of the summer on a motzei Shabbos?

24

 Mar 26, 2010 at 04:39 PM Anonymous Says:

The, Schmelzer Schul .

25

 Mar 26, 2010 at 04:42 PM Lipa 4 President Says:

Lipa Schmeltzer well known famous talented singer, became as well a author of seforim, as VIN has learned us about his Published Hagudah, now im reading here he's becoming a Rebbbe of a Shul, i think its about time to Revive the Old famous picture Slogan has white house with obama in it: "Lipa 4 President"
he should move a Step forward & Run for Politics not nessecarely president, but he shall Run 4 Office & take some Political role, like City Council like greenfield, or Congress like yossi gestetner, he has alot of carizma he can run & win, just ronald reagen. so next time he'll need to aprove somthing he can be in office & have the connections to get permits right away & help other ppl.
(Airmont Resident)

26

 Mar 26, 2010 at 04:55 PM Anonymous Says:

Most of these lawsuits have started several years ago, The Mayor Dennis Kay (kamenetsky) works with the Community, has also settled a case last year with the Kolbisov shul to allow them to build a nice shul, mikvah, kiddush room, and gallery for the women. The mayor is also attending the annual Melave Malka for the Kolbisov shul.

27

 Mar 26, 2010 at 04:55 PM j lenny Says:

Well with all those colored bekithches he should have opened a shul a long time ago ! btw does the kiddush take longer than the Davening ?

28

 Mar 26, 2010 at 05:06 PM Monsey Man Says:

To all of the developers in Monsey, to all of the Rosh Yeshivas and Rebbes who fight for variances to the disgust of our non-Jewish neighbors, to all of the Mosdos who do whatever they feel is necessary to benefit themselves and their children personally at the expense of numerous chilulei Hashem, Lipa has proven that the answer is NOT ALWAYS "Eisav soneh L'Yaakov!"

29

 Mar 26, 2010 at 05:12 PM longtimemonseyresident Says:

I hope this Kiddush Hashem makes the local news, and residents see that we Jews can behave properly and with consideration for our neighbors. Way to go, Lipa!

30

 Mar 26, 2010 at 05:20 PM Thanks to A J Straus Says:

If aj wouldn't be fighting the village all these years there would not have been even one shul in airmont thanks to him we have about 20
At meetings these are some statements made by previous village officials "who needs them here let them go where they belong" so its not playing by the rules moderator should get their facts and history before posting comments.
I'm happy for lipa and every shul that's being approved but have the facts first.

31

 Mar 26, 2010 at 05:26 PM Huge Lipa Fan!!! Says:

Why all those snotty comments about being thrown out of shuls......"A shul doesnt make u a rabbi a rabbi makes the shul"...and who says Lipa is trying to be a rebbe he has a shul thats it....get over it!!! Fargin es Eim Kenst oich huben!!! Lipa Good Luck!!!!

32

 Mar 26, 2010 at 05:32 PM Anonymous Says:

What is the address of the current shul and does Lipa attend every Shabbos. If so, does he daven for the amud too?

33

 Mar 26, 2010 at 05:37 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #8  
Shmuela Says:

This guy has a shule now? Wow what has the world come to?

Discovering (or, Rediscovering) the Derech Ha Baal Shem Tov! This is the spirit of the BESH"T! All the nay-sayers not withstanding!

34

 Mar 26, 2010 at 05:42 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
Know the facts Says:

While I am very happy that Lipas shul gained approval, the circumstances were markedly different from the original Airmont shul cases. The zoning and planning boards at that time would not contemplate the idea of any type of shul and tried to enact laws which would forbade groups of 10 or more people meeting on a regular basis (i.e. a minyan). They were trying to prevent frum people from moving into the area. The only way for frum people to have a shul in that neighborhood was to bring the case to court.

In fact had the original court cases never occurred, Lipas shul would likely have never been more than a dream.

Because of those earlier cases, Airmont wound up with one of the most liberal zoning laws for all houses of worship. I laugh when I hear Airmont cooperated and gave them approval. What really happens is Airmont keeps losing in Court and maybe, just maybe, they are beginning to realize that?

35

 Mar 26, 2010 at 05:55 PM Airmonter Says:

Reply to #32  
Anonymous Says:

What is the address of the current shul and does Lipa attend every Shabbos. If so, does he daven for the amud too?

Yes. He davens for the amud, dances the hakofos, cries kol nidrei drushes. A regular ruv for balebatishe yingeleit. I'm blessed to be a mispalel in the Airmont Shul. The achdus and feeling of belonging is gevaldig. I encourage everyone to come visit us. When one has a simcha the whole shul shares the joy. A shul like no other.

36

 Mar 26, 2010 at 06:15 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #29  
longtimemonseyresident Says:

I hope this Kiddush Hashem makes the local news, and residents see that we Jews can behave properly and with consideration for our neighbors. Way to go, Lipa!

You're probably well meaning but that takes the cake as the most laughable comment posted here.....you want a story where someone obeyed the law to make news? This is so sad. What is wrong with you people???

37

 Mar 27, 2010 at 08:29 PM the schmeltser shul Says:

Reply to #24  
Anonymous Says:

The, Schmelzer Schul .

The best name. To schmelts all yidden together

38

 Mar 27, 2010 at 08:45 PM Anonymous Says:

Schmeltzer Shul-ent .

39

 Mar 27, 2010 at 08:52 PM Anonymous Says:

so the big question is

do we say shehechiyanu with or without a bracha?

40

 Mar 27, 2010 at 09:47 PM skeptic Says:

Common knowledge: Lipa is an am ho-oretz. While he may be idolized by some silly people who are of the same feather... he is only that; AN ENTERTAINER. I think it's time to wake up and see where this is heading. It is very sad that people are so unlearned and therefore despise everything to do with b'nei torah (yes there are plenty of erliche yidden still around even nowadays. Just take the effort to seek one.) Chush boys like Lipa are now the substitute for all that was once upon a time important to all religious jews. What a shame.
Chag Kasher V'sameach to all yidden. May we all be zoche to do teshuva and serve Hashem with true Simcha until the coming of Moshiach, Amen.

41

 Mar 27, 2010 at 10:18 PM bystander Says:

To Reb Lipa: Getting approval was a kiddush hashem (playing by the book or rules) I just hope the shul itself will be run by the book, as well (the Shulchan Aruch) Tfillah Bizmanah, No Talking by davening and leining etc. that will be the ultimate test of Kiddush Hashem...
aleh vehatzlach... your director

42

 Mar 27, 2010 at 10:27 PM knowitall Says:

So, Lipa will answer all hilchos Shabbos, Yorah Daia, Even Ezer shailos now? There are deep problems within our community if we look to a performer, instead of a Rav, for inspiration.

43

 Mar 27, 2010 at 11:09 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #13  
Anonymous Says:

Only open on shabbos so what's the problem with headlights?

Most Orthodox shuls, especially Hasidic shuls, end shabbos after dark.

44

 Mar 27, 2010 at 11:11 PM Yoily Gvir NOT! Says:

One thing you need to notice is that in New Hempstead also in Rockland they put up shuls and no one said a word or made a problem. The reason is you got some fine Jews on the village board that makes sure the Yidden are protected. So you can do this in a fine and a quiet way that doensnt bother nobody.

45

 Mar 27, 2010 at 11:44 PM Airmonter Says:

Reply to #40  
skeptic Says:

Common knowledge: Lipa is an am ho-oretz. While he may be idolized by some silly people who are of the same feather... he is only that; AN ENTERTAINER. I think it's time to wake up and see where this is heading. It is very sad that people are so unlearned and therefore despise everything to do with b'nei torah (yes there are plenty of erliche yidden still around even nowadays. Just take the effort to seek one.) Chush boys like Lipa are now the substitute for all that was once upon a time important to all religious jews. What a shame.
Chag Kasher V'sameach to all yidden. May we all be zoche to do teshuva and serve Hashem with true Simcha until the coming of Moshiach, Amen.

Mr. Skeptic, you sound like a Litfak. Lipa is no different than a host of chasiddic rabbis who open up shuls and "fir tish" to the amazement of their respected chasiddim. The only difference is the Lipa doesn't fake it. He is what he is and doesn't pretend to be something he is not. Wheres the other rebbes who are full of it and still pretend to be holy.

46

 Mar 28, 2010 at 12:15 AM Anonymous Says:

i'd love to hear his shabbos hagadol drasha : how to succeed as a poshiter yid!

47

 Mar 28, 2010 at 12:19 AM Oy Gevald Says:

Rockstar Rebbe of Rockland.

48

 Mar 28, 2010 at 12:26 AM Yerachmiel Lopin, FrumFollies blogger Says:

Reply to #13  
Anonymous Says:

Only open on shabbos so what's the problem with headlights?

They probably were dealing with cars arriving erev shabbos and leaving motzai shabbos.

49

 Mar 28, 2010 at 12:37 AM another airmonter Says:

Reply to #40  
skeptic Says:

Common knowledge: Lipa is an am ho-oretz. While he may be idolized by some silly people who are of the same feather... he is only that; AN ENTERTAINER. I think it's time to wake up and see where this is heading. It is very sad that people are so unlearned and therefore despise everything to do with b'nei torah (yes there are plenty of erliche yidden still around even nowadays. Just take the effort to seek one.) Chush boys like Lipa are now the substitute for all that was once upon a time important to all religious jews. What a shame.
Chag Kasher V'sameach to all yidden. May we all be zoche to do teshuva and serve Hashem with true Simcha until the coming of Moshiach, Amen.

I wonder how big of a talmid chachom and "learned" person one needs to be to feel free to spit out loshon hora, rechilos, malbin penei chaveiro and everthing else. You must be so proud of yourself that you feel above and beyond the torah laws! Looks like those "erliche yidden" who are so around these days, aren't so ehrlich after all.

50

 Mar 28, 2010 at 12:46 AM azh Says:

Reply to #40  
skeptic Says:

Common knowledge: Lipa is an am ho-oretz. While he may be idolized by some silly people who are of the same feather... he is only that; AN ENTERTAINER. I think it's time to wake up and see where this is heading. It is very sad that people are so unlearned and therefore despise everything to do with b'nei torah (yes there are plenty of erliche yidden still around even nowadays. Just take the effort to seek one.) Chush boys like Lipa are now the substitute for all that was once upon a time important to all religious jews. What a shame.
Chag Kasher V'sameach to all yidden. May we all be zoche to do teshuva and serve Hashem with true Simcha until the coming of Moshiach, Amen.

Personally, I think that Chush boys ARE what is important to all religious Jews and always has been. Assuming that you are telling the truth and Lipa went to Chush, Who are you to write off every Chush boy?

Different People get chizuk in diffrent ways. Some people get Chizuk from Lipa. Making fun of a person's source of chizuk (or of disadvantaged people) is leitzanus. (not to mention narrow-minded and bigoted).

51

 Mar 28, 2010 at 01:36 AM Anonymous Says:

No one claims that Lipa is not a wonderful nice person. He is a baal chesed., kind hearted and all the good things that you can say. But But he is a performer, a singer, a actor , a badchan, and when need be a clown. He is a good one at that. Does that mean he should be a leader a Rov.

If he decided to open an office as a pediatrician (or an Obstetrician) or an accountant or a lawyer, would you still say "yea", but he is such a nice person he is mommish such an erliche he really is moiser nefesh when he goes to a patient. He has much better bedside manners than your doctor. He can convince a jury better. Don't be rediculous. Its sick

52

 Mar 28, 2010 at 01:45 AM airmonter Says:

Shame on you #40 Reb Lipa never went to chush he held a very inspiring drusha and made a kiddush shem shamyim he brings people closer to hashem not like you who because of you people leave yiddishkeit lipa is a tzaddik who has a mission in life and that is how through his talent can he be mikarev yidden and he does a great job.

53

 Mar 28, 2010 at 03:04 AM airheader Says:

Reply to #52  
airmonter Says:

Shame on you #40 Reb Lipa never went to chush he held a very inspiring drusha and made a kiddush shem shamyim he brings people closer to hashem not like you who because of you people leave yiddishkeit lipa is a tzaddik who has a mission in life and that is how through his talent can he be mikarev yidden and he does a great job.

I happen to be very inspired by Lipa and feel a tremendous affinity towards him but I understand where #40 is coming from (aside from the name calling). All he is trying to say is that we shouldn't give to much chashivus to entertainment; rather save it for devarim ruchniyim. I stil think Lipa is a tremendous lev tov from the stories o chesed I've heard about him, and for such things I think everyone can apprciate him (Lipa if your reading this please take it as a chizuk to be mamshich in all your chassodim you do for the sick people and yesoimim r"l and bechoil mili demietav).

54

 Mar 28, 2010 at 04:16 AM a git vort Says:

Reply to #13  
Anonymous Says:

Only open on shabbos so what's the problem with headlights?

'As of now' its only open on/for shaboss, and w/the NEW shol he probebly plans to be open during the weekdays as-well.

55

 Mar 28, 2010 at 08:58 AM Mickey Mouse Says:

After seeing LIPA'S Hagada I decided that he is some sort of the yiddishe version of "Mickey Mouse"...
Soon Lipa will make a machzor for Yom Kipur with pictures of him doing all the Al-Cheits.... like a Real "REBBE"....

56

 Mar 28, 2010 at 02:32 PM Go Lipa! Says:

Lipa is not pretending to be a rebbe. He is a warm, open man who wants to make his home open for davening, probably both for his own convenience (he must have a handful of young children KAH BH) and because he wants to open his home to others. I wish I could daven there, but I am seven time zones and an ocean away.

58

 Mar 29, 2010 at 07:18 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Happy for him Says:

Baruch Hashem. Lipa may think he is just a poshiter yid but what he doesn’t know is that he brings simcha and geshmak to so many yidden out there. I’m sure there are many chassidish boys on the fringe that get a huge chizuk from him and Kiruv rechokim is no small thing. He should continue to have Hatzlacha and Bracha in all his endeavors and be a Keli to be Marbeh Kvod Shomayim.

I"v always wondered if thesev kids just need to let out their energies and could do it with baseball and they don't need rock for that

59

 Jul 01, 2010 at 02:55 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #17  
Williamsburgher Says:

I think it was Mr. Roth from Roth clothing, who used to say that he makes Rebbes, because for a thousand dollars or so you can buy by him alll shmona begodim and presto, you're a Rebbe.

Why are you quoting from someone a Quote that is not TRUE, I am Mr. Roth and I never said anything like this, I am a very respectful person, what YOU said NOT ME, is not Respectful!

60

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