Maple Street Shul Dispute Settled

After over four years of fighting and litigation, the dispute over control of Congregation Ahavas Mosche of Crown Heights, popularly known as ‘the Maple Street Shul,’ has been settled amicably by both sides. On the day before Gimmel Tammuz, four members of the Shul have signed a letter of apology to the Shul’s caretaker of over 40 years, Rabbi Eli Blachman, and agreed to no longer seek control of or interfere with the affairs of the Shul.

Rabbi Eli Blachman has been the Shul’s President since 1974, when he took the position with the blessings of the Rebbe and Rabbi Zalman Shimon Dworkin, OBM.

Being located on the borders of Crown Heights, with mostly non-Jewish neighbors, was a challenge in itself. “I used to stand on the corner of Lefferts Avenue and Albany and beg people to fill our Minyan,” Blachman recalls. Upon finding bullet holes at the Shul in the wake of the 1991 riots, the Shul dedicated a room to Yankel Rosenbaum HY“D, who was murdered that August.

Nearly five years ago, a group of congregants challenged the legitimacy of Blachman’s leadership of the Shul, leading to a four-year dispute in both Beis Din and the New York State Supreme Court.

“The settlement was fittingly signed on the eve of Gimmel Tammuz, in what is surely a gift to the Rebbe, to see that a fight among his Chasidim has finally been put to rest,” Rabbi Eli Blachman told CrownHeights.info.

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15 Comments

  • 1. Kol Hakovod! wrote:

    It takes a certain level of sincerity and wanting to do what is write to sign such a letter. Let us all take a lesson from them!

  • 4. DeClasse' Intellectual wrote:

    If you are looking for a nice quiet unpretntious place for Shabbos to Daven, the shul was that when I used to go there before I moved.

  • 6. Friend wrote:

    I have davened in The Maple St Shul dozens of times (I am not from Crown Heights but I’m often there for yom tov) and a Shabbos here and there. I shudder to think what would have happened to that building without Eli, and he himself was a pioneer, heading the shul, looking for a minyan, organized shiu’rim and more. Eli started this shul on a very scary block, and Eli was committed to not letting the building turn into something else – sitra achra –
    It’s hard think of Eli in a machlokes
    I personally know people who walked a distance, to enjoy help and help make minyanim and have events held there. Many people wanted to “help Eli” build up the shu.
    Baruch Hashem the dispute is resolved.

  • 7. Anonymous wrote:

    Wow this is wonderfully news
    Hashem should bless all those involved and those who help make this happen …. Now all the others should learn from them

  • 9. Picaboo Shimon wrote:

    I respect that they acted like men and admitted their wrongdoing and apologized.

    It is rare these days to see someone own up to their mistakes. It is great to hear that the machloikes is resolved.

  • 11. ???? wrote:

    I don’t understand…. why now? Is Eli Blachman going to continue his 5 year term for another 40 years? I am stunned by the unequivocal language of the apology, this is the first time I have ever seen an apology that is exactly that. Still, I would like to know what prompted it.

  • 12. A real Nachas to the Rebbe wrote:

    All those who signed the apology to Eli shall be proud of themselves. You are true Mentchen.
    With the hope that we all learn from you, we can look forward for a better crown heights, etc.

  • 13. Itchke Shtibel wrote:

    I daven at Itchke Shtibel which has now taken over the Maple St Shul. We are all very pleased with Eli Blachman. He comes quietly sits in hos place and lets Itchke Shtibel run the minyan according to their needs. Everyone is welcome to join us at Itchke Shtibel we are a great bunch to be with. Come and see for yourself.

  • 14. to #13 wrote:

    Well written,
    In the the three and and half years that Itchkes has taken over the management of the Shul B”H there is NO Machlokes in fact the only ones left from the old Shul is Mr. Blachman and Mr. Karp,
    Under the able leadership of our dear Rabbi Fogelman we are thriving, please don’t confuse us with the old Maple Street Shul we are a completely different entity

    Come try us for one Shabbos and you will not leave

  • 15. Photo is not current wrote:

    A huge addition has been built on top of what is depicted in this article.
    The shul building is now at least twice the size it was when this photo was taken.

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