(JTA) — Rabbi Shmuley Boteach wants to purchase the Libya-owned mansion next door to his New Jersey home and turn it into a Jewish learning center.
Boteach told NorthJersey.com that he plans to raise up to $6 million in order to purchase the 4-acre property and mansion in Englewood.
Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi had planned to stay on the property in a tricked-out Bedouin tent during his visit last year for the United Nations General Assembly. Boteach led neighborhood protests to keep out Gadhafi, and he did not stay in the community.
The Libyan ambassador to the United Nations and his family moved into the estate last month.
Boteach is suing the Libyan mission to the United States for damage to his property allegedly caused during construction work on the property.
There is no indication that the Libyan government is willing to sell the property, according to reports.
“I have no idea if this idea will prove feasible, but I am very serious about exploring it in a positive way to end the standoff with the Libyans, increase the dissemination of family and spiritual values in America, and have the Libyan Mission return to the proximity of the United Nations where it belongs,” Boteach told NorthJersey.com.