The building that housed a Conservative Jewish temple for decades before being sold to an Orthodox organization that opened a boys’ high school which was eventually shut down due to a lack of a zoning permit has changed hands again, for a major profit.
Temple Beth Or sold the building at 200 Van Zile Road due to a dwindling number of worshipers in the post-Covid era, to Lakewood-based Congregation Kehilos Yisroel, controlled by developer David Gluck, in 2021 for $3.6 million. Property records show the parcel has been sold again, this time for $4.5 million, to Congregation Anshei Brick Inc., on Dec. 30, 2022.
The nonprofit entity “Congregation Anshei Brick Inc.” was created the same day the transaction was recorded, according to land records dating back to December. Prior to the sale, the property was the subject of a flurry of document filings, including leases and mortgages, for about a month.
State tax records, obtained by Shorebeat, indicate Congregation Anshei Brick Inc. is controlled by a number of individuals, at least two of whom are attorneys at a Lakewood law firm known as BAR Law Group, which operates in an office park off Cedar Bridge Avenue in Lakewood. The trustees of the corporation are identified as Shia Teller, Anne Blumenfrucht and Jeffrey Rabinovioch. The incorporator, Mark Fuchs, was based in Brooklyn, N.Y. Shorebeat contacted two of the principals via e-mail and left a message with the law firm, however no response was ever received.
Gluck’s name does not appear on any of the documents filed on behalf of the newly-formed ownership entity.
Brick Township officials confirmed there have been no changes to the status of the property, nor have there been any new filings for permits or site plans. The building’s sale came just over a month after its former owner engaged in correspondence with township officials proposing a “library and learning center” for the site. The proposal was never formalized, however, and officials at the time responded with their own letter asking the owner to clarify what specific use they sought for the building. The correspondence then ended. Hearings before the township’s zoning board began on the previous owners’ request for approval to operate a high school at the site, but abruptly stopped.
On Feb. 1, 2023, Congregation Anshei Brick Inc. filed an amendment to its certificate of corporation, stating the entity is “organized exclusively for religious, charitable and educational purposes,” including the making of distributions to other registered nonprofits. The other portion of the addendum governs how assets would be divided if the corporation were to be dissolved, stating that the assetts must be distributed to another registered nonprofit. A further paragraph indicates no earnings by the corporation should “inure to the benefit of, or be distributed to,” its trustees or other officials, except for “reasonable compensation for services rendered.”
As it currently stands, the building may be legally used as a house of worship, as it always has, and such activity has been noted at the site. An injunction barring the use of the former temple as a school remains in place, with the future of the property continuing to be unknown to neighbors as well as township officials.
According to county tax records, the 4.5-acre property is assessed at $4,107,800, though it is exempt from property tax obligations due to its religious, nonprofit ownership.