South Florida Synagogue Dodges Foreclosure; Torahs, Ark, Other Religious Artifacts Receive Repo Reprieve From Earlier Yom Kippur Threat
In Boynton Beach, Florida, The Wall Street Journal reports:
- Is it a Hanukkah miracle? Congregation Chabad-Lubavitch Greater Boynton resolved a loan dispute with lender Stonegate Bank [last week], paving the way for the Florida synagogue to say goodbye to bankruptcy. The dispute involves a lawsuit the bank filed against the synagogue, to which it had given a $3.8 million mortgage loan, to foreclose on the property. In the agreement, the synagogue agreed to raise a minimum sum of $1.2 million. Court documents say that $800,000 of the $1.2 million is to be escrowed pending closing.
- In addition to Stonegate providing a partial release of the mortgage, it must also release its lien on all of the synagogue’s religious artifacts, including all Torahs, prayer books, talit (prayer shawls), the ark where the Torahs are housed and memorial boards.
- According to the Sun-Sentinel, Rabbi Sholom Ciment kvelled that the congregation rallied to help pay part of the loan by the deadline, which was Nov. 30. “We are joyfully grateful that all of this will be put behind us,” he said.
- This isn’t the first synagogue’s first lender kerfuffle that’s taken place during the holidays. Stonegate sought to recoup some of the aforementioned religious artifacts a few months ago during Yom Kippur.
See also The Palm Beach Post: On eve of Hanukkah, synagogue near Boynton Beach gets best gift of all.
For an earlier post on this story, see Lender Threatens To Grab Five Torahs In F'closure Action Against Synagogue; "Oh, Too Bad!" Says Bank Prez When Told It Was Holiest Time Of Jewish Year.