Yeshiva Kollel Tifereth Elizer, a yeshiva based in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn, has agreed to pay a $22,500 fine for holding religious services in a building deemed “unsafe” by NYC. In a report Saturday, the New York Post said that, according to the New York Department of Buildings, Yeshiva Kollel Tifereth Elizer Director Rabbi Abraham Low pleaded guilty in December, and has agreed to pay the fine.
The Yeshiva building was deemed unsafe by Department of Buildings inspectors after a fire broke out at the construction site in August 2015. The inspectors discovered that in addition to having no certificate of occupancy, the building lacked fire-stopping material and an automatic sprinkler.
The Department of Buildings also claims that orders to vacate the building had been ignored, and that it has frequently been illegally used as a house of worship.
As for the Yeshiva, its website states that the institution “caters to its students’ cultural needs, while simultaneously encompassing a strong academic syllabus, leading to overall achievements and success.”
Founded in memory of Rabbi Low’s great grandfather, the Yeshiva says it incorporates “a unique learning style modeled after pre-Holocaust Hungarian Yeshivas and Rabbi Eliezer Fish of Bixad’s method, as well as major components of the approach utilized by the Litvishe yeshiva curriculum. It is this blend of the Litvishe mode of learning coupled with the characteristic Chassidishe warmth that has attracted the yeshiva’s exclusive Chassidic student body from Borough Park, Brooklyn and other Chassidic communities until today.”
The Borough Park neighborhood covers an extensive grid of streets between Bensonhurst to the south, Bay Ridge to the southwest, Sunset Park to the west, Kensington to the northeast, Flatbush to the east, and Midwood to the southeast.
Borough Park is home to one of the largest Orthodox Jewish communities outside Israel, with one of the largest concentrations of Jews in the United States, and Orthodox traditions rivaling many insular communities. As the average number of children in Orthodox and Haredi families is 6.72, Borough Park is experiencing a sharp growth in population. It is also an economically diverse neighborhood.
In the 1980s, the neighborhood changed demographically from one of Italian, Irish, and Modern Orthodox Jewish to Hasidic Jewish families. By 1983, an estimated 85 percent of the residents of Borough Park were Jewish.
By: Menachem Rephun