Sale of LES synagogue to Peter Fine faces opposition

Developer plans to turn the site into housing

New York /
Apr.April 10, 2015 02:10 PM

UPDATED, April 13, 1:01 p.m.: Peter Fine’s $13 million purchase of a Lower East Side synagogue and nursing home will go before a judge next week, amid opposition from congregants who believe the synagogue president has ulterior motives.

Fine has plans to develop the Home of the Sages at 25 Bialystoker Place, along with two adjoining lots, into housing, according to the New York Observer.

Because of the synagogue’s nonprofit status, a judge must approve its sale. But congregants say that Samuel Aschkenazi, the trustee and president of Home of the Sages, obtained approval for the sale through a shadow board, none of whom attend the synagogue. Also strange is that Ashkenazi only plans to keep $3 million of the proceeds, and send the remaining $10 million to a separate group that plans to build a synagogue in Jerusalem.

Attorney David Jaroslawicz, who represents the congregants, said that transferring the funds to a separate charity raises a legal issue and violates the spirit of charitable donation laws.

The newspaper also asserts that Fine was a close friend of William Rapfogel, who is now in prison for insurance kickbacks but formerly sat on a panel that advised the Attorney General’s office on best practices for charitable institutions. [NYO] — Tess Hofmann

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that Fine and Rapfogel were once co-workers. While both men once worked at the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, they did not work there at the same time.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Regional banks starting to show uptick in loans, but want more borrowers (iStock)
Verizon to move to Essex Crossing in potential campus play
Verizon to move to Essex Crossing in potential campus play
Lightstone Group CEO David Lichtenstein and 145 Bowery (Lightstone, Google Maps, Moxy Hotels)
Lightstone receives $130M construction loan for new Moxy hotel on LES
Lightstone receives $130M construction loan for new Moxy hotel on LES
159 Ludlow Street (Photo by Scott Lynch/Flickr)
Vacant Lower East Side lot once used by Banksy lists for $2.5M
Vacant Lower East Side lot once used by Banksy lists for $2.5M
Ryan Serhant and the Library (Getty, Donna Dotan / DD Reps)
Reading the Room: Sales launch at “Library” condo
Reading the Room: Sales launch at “Library” condo
60 Norfolk Street with Gotham Organization Chairman Joel Picket and CEO David Picket (Gotham/Dattner Architects)
Gotham Org lands more loans for Lower East Side development
Gotham Org lands more loans for Lower East Side development
Billionaire hedge fund manager Dan Loeb and renderings of 6440 North Bay. (Third Point, To Better Days Development)
Billionaire hedge funder Dan Loeb buys waterfront Miami Beach estate: sources
Billionaire hedge funder Dan Loeb buys waterfront Miami Beach estate: sources
Gotham Organization CEO David Picket and a rendering of the Broome Street Development complex (Gotham; Community at Broome)
Lower East Side affordable complex lands $162M construction loan
Lower East Side affordable complex lands $162M construction loan
Ian Schraeger’s Public Hotel at 215 Chrystie Street (Getty, Google Maps, Dolly Lenz)
Penthouse at Ian Schrager’s Public Hotel asks double 2017 sale price
Penthouse at Ian Schrager’s Public Hotel asks double 2017 sale price
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...