Abba and Imma Return to the LES: New Condo Building Targets Jewish Resident, Fair Housing Act Be Damned

371 madison 1 Abba and Imma Return to the LES: New Condo Building Targets Jewish Resident, Fair Housing Act Be Damned

"No, Joshua, this isn't your school - this is our home!" (Image Courtesy of The Lo-Down)

The Lower East Side’s Jewish population has dwindled over the recent decades, but a new kosher, school-converted condominium building will hit the market in the spring and restore some of the neighborhood’s historic character and Jewish community. The condominiums at 371 Madison Street has received its certificate of occupancy and will begin selling condominium targeted at Jewish families, the The Times reports.

The 110 condos are priced from $435,000 to over $1 million, with loft-style apartments ranging from 746 square feet to 1,672 square feet. The penthouse is described to be large enough for a three bedroom, according to Michael Bolla, managing director at Prudential Douglas Elliman, co-developer and owner of the ground floor spa and health club amenities.

The building will include a 24 hour kosher and vegan food service as well as a pool with single-sex-swimming hours, a nod to Orthodox Jews, The Times notes.

As New York State prohibits religious preference in selling or advertising an apartment, the building has remained entirely clear of labeling itself as a Jewish building. Members of any denomination or background can purchase and Mr. Bolla told The Times that the developers are “working on everything being open to the public,” including the kitchen and pool for a “very reasonable” membership fee.

Some are concerned about the Sabbath and the lack of an eruv–or a zone that, in short, extends the Jewish home allowing them to carry items and even babies outside of their immediate domain on the Sabbath, which is otherwise impermissible. Nearly all Jewish communities in Israel have a eruv zone, as well as many in New York City, from Williamsburg to the Upper West Side.

Though there are concerns about community acceptance of an eruv, which could prove challenging, Rabbi Wall, head of the Sixth Street Community Synagogue in the East Village, told The Times that it “might be easier to market just to people who don’t care if there’s an eruv than to build an eruv and withstand the attacks that they’re going to get.”

After all, hummus has turned into quite the political hot potato of late. Who knows what tsuris an eruv might cause.

mewing@observer.com