The IRS has seized Chabad’s Worcester, Massachusetts yeshiva day school and synagogue for unpaid taxes. Chabad owes Uncle Sam $435,235.31 in unpaid taxes dating back to 2004. Almost all of those unpaid taxes are payroll taxes.
IRS Seizes Chabad Yeshiva, Synagogue
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
The IRS has seized 22 Newton Avenue in Worcester, Massachusetts, the building that houses Chabad’s Yeshiva Achei Tmimim synagogue and its Yeshiva Academy Hebrew day school. Chabad owes $435,235.31 in unpaid federal taxes dating back to 2004. Almost all of those unpaid taxes are payroll taxes, the Worcester Telegram reported.
Over the past decade, the IRS tried to get Chabad to pay up, but to no avail.
A public auction of the building is now reportedly scheduled for January 4. Only sealed bids will be accepted, with bids starting at $472,000.
Despite the upcoming IRS auction, things reportedly still appear normal at 22 Newton Avenue.
Both the school and synagogue continue to operate because the IRS – so far – has not evicted Chabad. But if the property sells next month, that eviction is a definite possibility.
Chabad of Worcester has been led for decades by Rabbi Hershel Fogelman, who is now 90-years old and rehabbing from an illness in a local Jewish nursing home. His son Mendel has handled much of the day-to-day operations for many years.
Besides the IRS bill, Chabad of Worcester also owes money to the City of Worcester and to private creditors.
The City of Worcester is owed $12,399 in unpaid water and sewer charges for 22 Newton Avenue and for 24 Creswell Street, Rabbi Hershel Fogelman's residence.
Acme Pre-Pak Corporation is owed $10,461.
As recently as 2010, records show that Chabad owed more than $31,400 to National Grid.
$25,000 is owed on a 2001 mortgage on 22 Newton Avenue taken out with Commerce Bank & Trust.
Last year, Chabad lost another property when Commerce Bank & Trust foreclosed on the yeshiva dormitory building located at 9 Midland Street.
The dilapidated property was purchased by a longtime members of the Chabad community for $61,000 who are now renovating the property.
“We bought it for ourselves [not to let the yeshiva use it again]. We wanted someone in the community to keep it, rather than let someone else take it. We just felt like, someone Jewish should own it,” she told the Telegram, noting that she and her husband intend to move into the home when renovations are completed next year.