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Monday, October 15, 2007

This Old Synagogue

October 11, 2007

Plans to renovate an 1870s Victorian near the landmark Litchfield town green to house the town's first synagogue have raised architectural objections from a historic district commissioner and constitutional questions from the congregation's lawyer.We suggest the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism as a referee.The chairwoman of the historic district commission says, among other things, that the Jerusalem stone suggested for the siding is not native to the area and the Star of David proposed for the clock tower may not comply with the district.But the rabbi for Chabad Lubavitch of Litchfield County points out that the Methodist Church one door down has two Stars of David. His lawyer speaks of "certain constitutional protections" that houses of worship enjoy.Though no one suggests religious bias in this dust-up, a mediator could erase any question while negotiating a solution that satisfies both architectural purists and the Constitution.The Historic Preservation Council, part of the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism, provides technical assistance to historic districts. The council may be reluctant to get involved in a local dispute, but it could at least counsel the town and congregation on federal standards for historic properties. That beats a battle.
Copyright © 2007, The Hartford Courant

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Darlene Adler
New Haven, CT

#1
Wednesday Oct 10
I think everyone should be more tolerant and interested in each other's culture. Each culture has so much to share if we take the time to extend ourselves and listen to other cultural beliefs we enrich our own lives and we grow as people. It doesn't change our beliefs - we do not loose more of ourselves or our culture - we only gain a better understanding of others and enrich our lives in doing so.

-darlene adler

Authentic CT Republican
Southington, CT
#2
Thursday Oct 11
The `Religious Freedom Act" signed into law in August of 2000 by Clinton, requires any government entity to illustrate a "compelling interest" prior to imposing what might be regular and/or normal for non religious groups.

I fail to see any "compelling interest" as it regards this Litchfield situation and would put forth that even requesting that the group appear before the Historical Commission is likely illegal.
Samuel
Glen Aubrey, NY

#3
Thursday Oct 11
We support historic disticts. www.historicnearwestside.com
A Litchfield Resident
Thomaston, CT

|#4
Thursday Oct 11
The Historic District Commission has long been out of control, and this is just more evidence of it. The historic district is full of christian crosses and mary-in-a-bathtub, but the star of david isn't "historically correct"? Give me a break.
Liebner556
New York, NY

|#5
Friday Oct 12
The Chabad does not want you to attend their functions. As open as you are to religions, they are not open to yours. In Israel we denounce the american Chabad. They are self righteous and only interested in pushing their religion in the faces of others. They are buying up properties in visible locations, yet they do not want you there as they profess. Pehaps one should study the extreme and cult-like practicies of the Hasids. Has anyone heard of "Blockbusters." HAsids enjoy tax breaks and then use their money to buy up houses and push people out as they have done all over Brooklyn and Queens, offering bags of cash for properties they ultimately expand to house their huge familes. A family just moved near me in Croton with 14 people in an 1800 square foot home. They all dress a certain way to separate themselves from the rest of the communities they claim they want to be a a part of. They profess about the ills of material wealth, yet also enjoy a good McMansion or two when the hunger strikes. The Historic District in Litchfield has a job to do. The Litchfield Community thrives on tourism because of certain things that make it a special place. It resonates with many people because of it's history. It brings vitality and economic benefits to the town. And I assure you Hasids are NOT the reason people are coming there to visit. Crosses and Star of David aside, Litchfield is a tourist attraction. The Historical Society is trying to preserve it's biggest asset. Imagine waht would happen if you plopped a huge Cross in the middle of Crown Heights Hasidic Community. I'd love to see what would happen there.
We do not impose our religion on Hasidics. We do not come to their communities and shove Christianity in their faces. If a cross is there and it's a christian community it because it was there WAY before they came to this country.
Liebner556
New York, NY

|#6
Friday Oct 12
Authentic CT Republican wrote:
The `Religious Freedom Act" signed into law in August of 2000 by Clinton, requires any government entity to illustrate a "compelling interest" prior to imposing what might be regular and/or normal for non religious groups.
I fail to see any "compelling interest" as it regards this Litchfield situation and would put forth that even requesting that the group appear before the Historical Commission is likely illegal.
Sorry But it is not illegal.
You cannot hide behind your religion for everything.
Churches and Synagogs already enjoy the priveledge of being Tax free.
They cannot decide, in the year 2007, that they can change their facades
and destroy the only thing that makes certain towns places of interest and torist attractions.
If a Christian organization went to the Wailing wall in Jerusulem and added a statue of a crucifix within 50 yards of it, would it be welcome there? Would it be illegal to deny the cross from being there? Would Christians even ask to place one there.?
No! The fact that Hasids are asking to do this in a White Anglo-Saxon Community is asking for trouble. And, guess what, it looks like the Chabad is simply trying to stir things up as they are known to do. Litchfield has every right to preserve it's history. I am half Jewish and I know my boundaries, just as my mother who is Christian knows hers. She wont go parading her crucifix at our Jewish events, and her father,(my grandfather) will wear a yarmakule at family gatherings. He respects our religion. That is respect. Not coming into a New England town and forcing any religion on people who have established a certain community. Guess what....some people don't want change. Theyve been there for hundreds of years. The Chabad has been there for 11 and now wants everyone to embrace them? Tolerance to a point. The Rabbi was quoted as saying "The whole operation will take place from this location"
and that 's what it is..... An operation. An operation to shove Chabad down people's throats. Litchfield is a White Anglos-Saxon, New England town and the Chabad cannot change that. They should respect it or they will simply create contention and hate for themselves.
Authentic CT Republican

“ACR”
Joined: Jun 13, 2007
Comments: 2
Central Connecticut
ISP Location: Southington, CT

|#7
Friday Oct 12
Liebner556 said:

>>Sorry But it is not illegal.
Oh? Have you been published in a national planners journal? Spent a decade or two on a land use board did you?

>>You cannot hide behind your religion for everything.

I'm an Evangelical Christian - I'm behind nothing; quite the contrary I'm in your face.

>>Churches and Synagogues already enjoy the privilege of being Tax free.

That is a RIGHT in this country, NOT a privilege.(Flunked Civics back in Jr High didn't you?)

>>If a Christian organization went to the........

A sporting goods store's sign was there before - I fail to see how a Nike sign is historically correct while a Star of David next door to a Methodist Church with a stained glass window that includes a Star of David is somehow out of line.

>>The fact that Hasids are asking to do this in a White Anglo-Saxon Community

I am an 18th generation WASP,(multiple lines from the Mayflower) and a lineal descendant of one of the 7 founders of Connecticut.
You on the other hand sound like
what my friends refer to as "collaborator".
Josh Issac
Litchfield, CT

|#8
Sunday
Dear Mr. Liebner,

Fisrstly we are taught, it is not the religon that makes the prson but who the person is, according to the Jewish trdition you area Christian. And that is great, because your mother is one that make su one, as us men dont count in the Jewish lineage.

However your total lack of education of the Chabad movement, and the hate for your fathers religoun is blatant in your response.

When Madonna got married a few years ago in scotalnd, her brother could not make it, he was at the CHABAD drug rehab center on the West coast, is he Jewish? No, Chabad is the most tollerant inviting group of people you will find, do not mix them up with some other groups in NYC.

you say in israel "we denounce...." whi is the we? Me, Myself and I, you whole commebt seems to be one big bluff! CHABAD in Israel is the largest social service org. serves close to 300,000 hot meals daily, and be assured if u, your mom, and your grandfather came in there needing som food, wearing a star of david or a cross, the would feed you.

So stop trying to feed hate, Bluff, inacuracy, total lies.

Good will always prevail, see you at the Litchfield synagouge!

BTW I am NY weekender who just bought a 2M dollar home to be walking distnace to the Chabad,Am I Religous? NO, Chassidic? NO, I actaully belong to two temples in NYC reform & Conservative, but I love theose Chabad bouchicks, get to know tham, u will find a most tolerant loving group like u have never seen before.

BTW I was my first year at the: www.jewishfest.org prduced by the Chabad of Litchfield, guess what, ther more gentiles ther than Jews!