School bus bakery shut down

Police in a New York suburb shut down a matzah bakery operating out of a school bus. The bakery owner, Rabbi Aaron Winternitz of Spring Valley, claimed he had made matzah in the bus for three years and distributed it for Passover to his 50-member Chasidic congregation, Mivtzar Hatorah. He said he chose a school bus for an oven because they “are made strong and safe.”

Winternitz attached the bus to his house to power his oven, removed all of the seats and added a smokestack, exhaust fans and working fire. Police from the Village of Spring Valley responded last Friday to a complaint of smoke at 3 a.m. and deemed the operation a hazard. “This is a tinderbox,” Sgt. Lou Scorziello said. “There certainly was the potential for an explosion.”

A village building inspector told Winternitz he had to move the bus away from his house, disconnect the unauthorized gas line and present official licensing for the project, but he praised the setup as “very creative.”

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