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Mass. synagogue, Jewish school avoid imminent closure

NEW YORK (JTA) — A Chabad-affiliated synagogue and Jewish day school in Worcester, Mass., were spared from imminent closure for non-payment of federal taxes.

The Internal Revenue Service received no offers Jan. 4 after it put the building housing the Yeshiva Achei Tmimim synagogue and the Yeshiva Academy school up for auction.

“That was the news I was praying for,” Rabbi Mendel Fogelman, the school director, told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. “Obviously we have a long way to go. We’ll have to wait and see if we can work out a deal with the IRS.”

Last month the IRS announced its intention to sell the building in central Massachusetts to cover the $472,000 in unpaid taxes owed by the synagogue and school. Fogelman launched a last-ditch effort to prevent the sale by starting an online fundraiser. The campaign has raised nearly $50,000 in donations from as far as Australia and South Africa.

The newspaper reported on its website that the two Jewish institutions also owe hundreds of thousands of dollars to other creditors, including the municipality and electrical company. Nonetheless, Fogelman said he remained hopeful that a solution will be found to keep open the school and synagogue that opened in 1959.

"Our community is the 5,000 or 6,000 Jews in the region," Fogelman said. "We will continue to nourish their souls and instill Jewish pride in them.”

 
 

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