Brotherhood Synagogue Finds New Temporary Facilities
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Brotherhood Synagogue Finds New Temporary Facilities

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The Brother hood Synagogue in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village which last Nov. ended its 19-year-old sharing of facilities with a Presbyterian church, has found temporary facilities with two Orthodox congregations in the Village. Rabbi Irving J. Block, the Reform rabbi of the liberal 600-member congregation, said it had accepted offers from Congregation Derech Amuna and Congregation Emunath Israel until it finds a permanent home.

Rabbi Block said his congregation will take formal leave with a Torah procession March 19 from the building it has shared with the Village Presbyterian Church since 1954. He said the Brotherhood congregants will attend Friday night services, with an Oneg Shabbat to follow, after the early evening services at Derech Amuna, which is six blocks from the building the congregation is leaving. Starting March 23, the congregation will worship with Emunath Israel members at the regular Sabbath morning services, followed by a kiddish by both congregations, Rabbi Block said. Emunath Israel is about 10 blocks away.

The rabbi said that both congregations offered their facilities without charge but that the Brotherhood Congregation would make a contribution toward maintenance costs to both congregations for the four or five months that it expects to share facilities. Rabbi Block said that while no permanent home had yet been found, the search was expected to find one in that period. He said temporary, offices and classrooms have been set up in rented quarters near the Village.


A difference stemming from the Yom Kippur War was the culminating factor in the decision of the Brotherhood Congregation to end its formal covenant with the church and to seek facilities somewhere else in the Village. After the war broke out, Rabbi Block posted a notice on the out door synagogue bulletin board which read: “May there be victory and peace for Israel.”

The following Sunday, Rev. William Glenesk, who had been named to the church pulpit two years ago, put a notice in the church bulletin reading: “To our friends, Arabs, non-Zionist Jews and all others who are offended by the arrogant, self-righteous sign posted outside our sanctuary by the synagogue re victory for Israel. we offer our regrets and prayers for peace.”

Rabbi Block said Rev. Glenesk had been consistently “abrasive and insulting” as successor to Rev. Jesse Stitt with whom the Jewish congregation bad started its covenant of sharing and who died two years ago. The rabbi told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that his congregants would use the Orthodox prayer books of the host congregations. He said he did not expect any problems from the differences in Jewish religions philosophies.

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