Oy vey! In the no-good-deed-goes-unpunished category, a Bensonhurst synagogue that was simply trying to make its facility more accessible to the disabled was the victim of an unholy theft when someone made off with its $15,000 exterior fence.
Recent renovations at the Jewish Community Center of Bensonhurst, which is on 23rd Avenue at 63rd Street, required the temporary removal of part of its iron gate. The synagogue piled up the 75 feet of fence and chained it to its building — all the while expecting to reinstall it as soon as construction was complete.
But that was perhaps not in God’s plan.
“We just came back one morning and the fence was missing,” said synagogue board member Leon Kryzhanovsky. “They even took the chain! It’s shocking how far people will go.”
The theft came as a big blow to the house of worship, which had been building a handicapped-accessible ramp to meet city codes. Now work is stalled with no end in sight as the Center sits shiva for its lost railing.
Police remain stumped, but members of the Center have a pretty good idea why their fence was taken.
“[Metals] cost a lot of money with today’s economy. Somebody probably took this thinking, ‘What a deal!’” Kryzhanovsky said.
The facts are on Kryzhanovsky’s side, with scrap metal prices rising over 90 percent in the past six months. The Daily News also reported this week that more than 50 Department of Sanitation workers allegedly to sold metal items that people had set out on the curb.
Synagogue secretary Harry Rinkel is convinced that the Center’s fence was just as lucrative. He remembered a group of contractors who spotted the fencing lying on the ground.
“They asked if they could have it, and we vehemently said, ‘No!’” Rinkel said.
What Kryzhanovsky said hurts the most is that a part of their shul was vandalized.
“It’s not that they’re valuable,” he said. “They’re valuable because they’re our fences.”