Senior wins shul battle • Brooklyn Paper

Senior wins shul battle

Victory: Isaac Blum, 89, is all smiles after learning that the synagogue next to his West End Avenue home installed a quieter air conditioner. This follows four years of what he called incessant droning from the shul’s previous industrial-sized air conditioner.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

An ongoing feud between two Holocaust survivors and a Manhattan Beach synagogue over the shul’s illegal air conditioner came to an end last week after the house of worship finally complied with a judge’s order to replace the noisy, industrial-sized unit with a smaller, quieter one..

Isaac and Rosa Blum cheered when Congregation Shaarey Torah removed the noisy apparatus they said sat just a few feet from their bedroom window and kept them up all night.

Yet they were suspicious of their sudden good fortune.

“I don’t want to call it victory yet,” said 89-year-old Isaac Blum.

“I want to give it a few days,” he said.

The couple said they might finally get a good night’s sleep now that the oversized unit is gone.

“It would be nice to walk-up whenever you want, and sleep in and not be stressed out,” said Isaac. “Hopefully it will work.”

The Blums gave Congregation Shaarey Torah a thumb’s up for obeying an Environmental Control Board judge who fined the synagogue $800 for breaking Department of Building rules by installing a unit meant for industrial use.

“I have to give them a little bit of credit,” said Isaac, whose beef with the house of worship led to a simmering cold war between the two neighbors.

The couple’s daughter said that the rumbling coming from the synagogue’s industrial-sized air conditioner sounded like “a diesel truck is outside the senior’s window.”

The Blums filed complaints with the city, but the Department of Buildings was never able to serve a violation.

Congregants wouldn’t let inspectors into the West End Avenue shul on six previous occasions, preventing it from confirming complaints that stretched back to 2009, according to agency records.

In February, the Blums claimed that someone from the synagogue took a blue marker to their car windows to cover up a Bay News story about the noise complaints the couple has filed against the house of worship.

The Blums’s front yard was also trashed by an outraged temple-goer earlier this year — an act that prompted an apology from Rabbi Moshe Plutchok, who arranged to have the Blum’s yard cleaned up.

Rabbi Plutchok didn’t return several calls for comment.

Reach reporter Colin MIxson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.

More from Around New York