Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky
A powerful rabbi is acting like the Grinch who stole Yom Kippur -- slapping the congregation of Lubavitch World Headquarters with an eviction notice right before the high holy days.
Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, leader of the Chabad Lubavitch movement, served the Brooklyn congregation’s board of governors with a notice giving them 10 days to clear out of 770 Eastern Parkway on Friday, hours before the Sabbath and less than a week before Rosh Hashanah, which begins tomorrow night.
For them to initiate a secular court action on the eve of the new year, to have the people vacate the premises, you’re talking about thousands of people coming from all over the world, to have them vacate the premise several days before the day of atonement is beyond comprehension,” said Crown Heights business owner and longtime congregant Yaakov Spritzer, 63.
Krinsky, essentially the de facto owner of the massive synagogue at 770 Eastern Parkway, has been feuding with its board of governors for years.
The board, called the Gabboim, believe Krinsky’s late mentor, Grand Rebbe Menachem Schneerson, is the Messiah, and it has blocked Krinsky from putting up a plaque in Schneerson’s memory because they don’t consider him dead.
They’ve also blocked Krinsky -- who was Scheerson’s aide until his death in 1994 and named the sole executor of his will -- from speaking at the synagogue.
Krinsky has countered by trying to boot the board in an apparent bid to seize more control for himself and the other rabbi Schneerson left in a position of power, Avraham Shemtov.
An earlier attempt to toss the board from the building was dismissed on technical grounds by a state appeals court this past March.
Eli Cohen, 56, the executive director of the Jewish Community Council, said Krinsky should have taken his case to a Jewish tribunal known as the Beth Din.
The secular court is not the place to litigate issues of religion,” Cohen
Edward Rudofsky, the lawyer for the congregation and the Gabboim, said, “I am actively consulting with the clients at this point to decide how they want to proceed and respond.”
Krinsky’s lawyer and spokesman declined comment on the dispute.