A haredi family in Brooklyn, in a mixed Jewish and Italian neighborhood, wants to build a synagogue on a site where a home stands. The haredim go to the city and get a permit for interior demolition, meaning the shell and basic structure of the building would remain as is. The haredim then proceed to tear down the entire building, leaving a heap of rubble on the lot where their new synagogue will one day stand. The city lets them get away with this serious code violation, in part because haredim control much of the local community council.
But there is more to this story. Before demolition, the haredim's architect hired a private contractor to check the building for asbestos, a dangerous substance that would need to be removed before demolition. Asbestos was found. A report containing this information was filed by the architect with the city. Haredim demolish the home anyway, without removing the asbestos,, and for about one year, dust containing that asbestos has filled the air of the neighborhood.
Three weeks ago, a local resident who had worked with and been poisoned by asbestos years before, saw asbestos on the property. He called the city. The city sent out inspectors, closed the site, issued a stop work order, and fined the haredim $10,000.
Dina d'malchuta dina, the law of the land is the law, except, it seems all to often, if you are haredi-connected.
CBS-2 TV News has their investigation of this sorry affair posted. The worse part is the potential danger to the neighborhoods children, Italians and Jews alike.
The rabbi of this synagogue, Kehillah L'Dovid, appears to be named Schick. His wife is Goldy Schick. Are they related to Marvin Schick?