Jewish community members of an upper Manhattan neighborhood have had their prayers answered: After having little luck finding a space in which to hold Sabbath services, a local pharmacy has come to the rescue, the Daily News reported on Thursday.
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Manny Ramirez, the owner of the Dichter Pharmacy in Inwood, decided to allow Jewish congregants to hold services in the pharmacy's basement, after reading about one rabbi's quest to open the area's first synagogue.
This is a pharmacy, but the business model is to become the central hub in the community, Ramirez told the Daily News. Dichter's also houses an ice cream parlor, luncheonette and gallery space and hosts poetry slams and events for parents and kids.
I am committed to growing the Jewish community," Ramirez said. "When I was growing up, everyone was mixing with everyone.
In recent months, Rabbi Herschel Hartz has been trying to raise $150,000 in order to find a prayer space in Inwood. He told the paper he was pleased with the new arrangement, but was still raising funds for a more suitable location for the services.
Part of Judaism is that you can make any place holy, said Hartz, who will lead the first Friday night prayer service on Feb. 28 in the pharmacy's basement.