The battle for control of the historic Sixth Street Community Synagogue is over. The Forward reports Chabad rabbi Simon Jacobson moved out of the building last month, after his supporters lost out in “the first leadership elections held by the synagogue in more than a decade.” But after a long legal fight, the financially troubled shul faces more uncertainty. Some members of the congregation once saw Jacobson as a “potential savior.” The Forward’s Paul Berger reports:
It was a sad end to a June-December match, and one not irrelevant to many aging congregations that invite new groups in wholesale with the hope that their fresh blood will revitalize the space, generate new revenue and somehow assure their beloved institution’s future — but without changing it all that much. The Lower East Side, once home to 325,000 Jews, is a tough marketplace for a synagogue these days. The Community Synagogue, founded in 1940, has struggled for decades. Among its many costs is the upkeep of a mid-19th-century building that originally housed the St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. Though (board president David) Landis said that the synagogue has no problem forming a daily minyan, former chairman Matthew Pace, who sided with Jacobson in the power struggle, said that finances have “been an issue” for some time.