Friday, October 05, 2007

Courant Story On Litchfield Synagogue

Synagogue Plan Challenged

Jewish Group's Proposal To Renovate House In Historic District Results In Nit-Picking

Courant Staff Writer
October 5, 2007

LITCHFIELD - The town's famous green is surrounded by picture postcard churches of all stripes - Protestant and Catholic, stone, wood and brick - with an abundance of crosses, steeples and stained-glass windows.

But when an orthodox Jewish group went before the Litchfield Historic District Commission last month to informally present its plans to transform a somewhat rundown 1870s Victorian on West Street into the town's first synagogue, the nit-picking immediately began.

According to the minutes from the Sept. 6 meeting, commission Chairwoman Wendy Kuhne objected to the Chabad Lubavitch of Litchfield County's siding choice of wood and Jerusalem stone because the stone isn't "indigenous" to the district.

She also expressed an opinion that the clock tower, which would contain the first 12 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, is "inappropriate" and that "the star of David may not comply with the district."

The stained glass was a problem, too.

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