Herman Koenigsberg, “dark horse” candidate, has been elected president of the strife-racked Clinton Street Synagogue, it was announced yesterday.
The thirty-five-year-old attorney’s election came after a bitter factional fight which continued until five o’clock in the morning.
Simultaneous with his election the congregation’s books were turned over for auditing to Louis Septimus certified public accountant.
Koenigsberg was an unheralded candidate for the presidency, which had been avidly sought by the two principal contestants, Lieber Grill and Samuel Selkowitz.
Grill was forced to withdraw from the race at the last minute, due to a death in the family. This left Koenigsberg, whose sympathies were more or less with the Grill faction, and Selkowitz to fight it out.
Election of an entire new slate of officers was in accordance with a recent settlement between the opposing factions, which had been hurling angry charges at each other since last December, when Selkowitz was defeated for reelection as financial secretary.
A bewildering maze of litigation has characterized the dispute, but opposing groups finally agreed to place the matter in the hands of the congregation, in the form of an election, and thus take it out of the courts. Meanwhile administration of the synagogue has been in charge of a temporary committee.
Rabbi Ire Kaufman and Samuel Murray Lovett, attorney for Selkowitz, presided over the polls. Balloting was characterized by challenges from both sides as to the membership status of several would be voters.
ERECTED BY GERMAN JEWS
The Clinton Street Synagogueâ€”its official name is the Congregation Czentochauer Chasam Sopher W’Anshei Unterstantestier â€” was erected eighty-eight years ago by early German-Jewish settlers.
Among its officers and worshippers have been members of the Guggenheimer; Schiff and Sulzberger families. Dr. Stephen S. Wise was confirmed at the synagogue while his father was its spiritual head.
The German Jews eventually sold the building to a group of Hungarian Jews, who formed the Chasam Sopher Synagogue, which later merged with two other congregations to complets a membership which now numbers more than 500 persons.