The Shmooze

A Sukkot Kerfuffle Over Antennas

By Renee Ghert-Zand

  • Print
  • Share Share
Wikimedia Commons

Two adjacent Jewish organizations in San Francisco — the Lisa Kampner Hebrew Academy, an Orthodox Jewish day school, and the Bureau of Jewish Education — are involved in a neighborly scuffle over roof space.

The two groups are feuding over a public hearing about the placement of AT&T antennas on the BJE’s roof. Two existing antennas dating to 1997 are scheduled to be replaced by six new ones. The Hebrew Academy’s Rabbi Pinchas Lipner immediately suspected a conspiracy between the BJE and the city’s Planning Commission when he realized that the meeting was scheduled for today, the first day of Sukkot.

“It’s like setting up a meeting on Christmas,” Lipner told the San Francisco Examiner. “They’re taking away due process from us.” Lipner was convinced that the scheduling of the meeting for Sukkot was a way to prevent Hebrew Academy leadership and families from having the opportunity to voice their opposition to the project. When parents of students at Hebrew Academy got wind of the planned antenna installation, some reportedly threatened to pull their children from the school.

David Waksberg, the BJE’s chief executive officer, is surprised that Lipner is causing such a stir about this by alerting the media. Waksberg assured the Examiner that there is no conspiracy afoot, and that in fact, the BJE had contacted the Planning Commission to request a rescheduling of the public hearing. The BJE, too, will be closed today and tomorrow in observance of Sukkot, and its employees would not be able to attend the meeting either. The Planning Commission is consequently voting on a new date for the hearing.

Waksberg has reached across the fence and offered to meet with Hebrew Academy community members about their concerns, to talk things over in a sukkah of peace, so to speak. “They’re our neighbors,” he said. “We don’t want to destroy our relationship with our neighbors.”


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Sukkot, San Francisco, Lisa Kampner Hebrew Academy, Bureau of Jewish Education

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • Does Israel have a racism problem?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.