YMCA GETS OK FOR SHRUNKEN PLAN

harrisonCongregation Beth Shalom, led by Rabbi Dovid Harrison, won concessions from the Community YMCA. An architectural plan, below, shows the south face of the proposed remodeling (top) and east facade along Maple Avenue. (Click to enlarge.)

elevationsAfter months of contentious hearings that prompted a lawsuit against the Borough of Red Bank, the Community YMCA finally won approval to increase the size of its 40-year-old Maple Avenue health facility.

After a four-and-a-half hour hearing that was light on objections from the public, all seven members of the zoning board voted to approve the plan, which would increase the size of the facility by 56 percent, to 86,000 square feet.

It would also, for the first time, allow traffic to exit the facility directly onto busy Maple Avenue, which doubles as state Highway 35.

But not on the Sabbath.

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MORE YMCA DISCUSSION? Y NOT?

poku-councilWilliam Poku of Bank Street addresses the council. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

What would a municipal meeting in Red Bank be these days without at least a little talk about the Community YMCA?

Shorter, for one.

The borough council, despite tabling a YMCA-related item on its agenda to a later date, gave attendees a chance to opine on the matter Monday night.

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RED BANK RABBI INJECTS FUN INTO CUSTOMS

dscf2023Congregation Beth Shalom Rabbi Yerachmiel Shapiro is in his second year heading the congregation, where the membership has doubled. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Yerachmiel Shapiro really tried hard to break away from the Jewish faith at one point in his life. After growing up in a Chicago-area Jewish community and attending Jewish schools, he’d had enough.

“It was very insular,” he said. “I had some friends that weren’t Jewish. It made me think, ‘Why live just in the Jewish world?’ And I wanted to have fun.”

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