City Board Ruling May Force Hebrew Day School to Reduce Classroom Space

The City Board of Permanent Appeals rejected yesterday a request from officials of the Hebrew Academy, the city’s only Jewish day school, for an extension of a building permit needed to meet complaints by city fire department officials that two converted residence buildings used by the day school were unsafe. In giving the initial permit three months ago, the board held that the two buildings could be made safe if the school officials installed fire sprinklers. fire escapes, sheet rock insulation and widened the halls. The school officials were granted the permit to start the needed renovation, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency was told today. But when the officials found they could not make the necessary alterations in the period of the initial grant, they requested an extension.

Rabbi Pincus Lipner, founder and principal of the day school, which has 200 pupils, said some classrooms had been brought up to acceptable standards and asked for the extension. The board refused by a 3-1 vote. The board held yesterday that the two buildings could not be made safe. Some 15 parents who attended the hearing accused the commissioners of anti-Semitism in their protest. They sought a meeting with Mayor Joseph Alloto who refused to see them but agreed to speak with Rabbi Lipner next week. The Hebrew Academy uses a school building near a synagogue, located in a lower middle class neighborhood. However, the JTA was told, the school building could not accommodate all 200 pupils, The JTA was told also that, if the permit is not renewed and the repairs completed, the day school will have to give up the converted residences, and will not have necessary classroom space when the school year resumes next month.

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