June 11, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Van Cortlandt Jewish Center Discusses Building Sale

(Courtesy of VCJC) On Sunday, May 19, the Van Cortlandt Jewish Center (VCJC), located at 3880 Sedgwick Ave. in the Bronx, held a special membership meeting. This meeting was called by Fischel Baiser and nine other members in accordance with the VCJC bylaws that allow any 10 members to request a meeting.

The purpose of the meeting was to present alternative proposals regarding the future of the VCJC building. Baiser and his group oppose the sale of the building and proposed various alternatives. Jack Kleinfeld, representing the VCJC Board of Trustees as its chair, presented the board’s proposal to sell the building. The plan involves moving back into a part of the building after renovations to ensure the congregation’s sustainability and continued operation as a place of worship.

The building, constructed in the mid-1960s, originally served a congregation of 700 members. Today, the VCJC has fewer than 60 members. The aging building and significantly reduced membership make it financially challenging to maintain the current facility without facing potential bankruptcy.

Following Kleinfeld’s presentation, those opposed shared their viewpoints; their proposals, however, did not offer immediate, actionable solutions to alleviate the financial strain on the VCJC.

Kleinfeld then moved for a vote to “endorse the current plans being finalized with Innovative Development Corp. to sell the property and then become tenants in a renovated facility.” The motion passed with a vote of 27- 7. The overwhelming majority of members supported the board of trustees’ diligent efforts to secure a viable future for the congregation by selling the building and relocating to a more manageable facility as tenants with assurances of long-term tenancy.

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