From the NY Times:
Jerry Banberger scarcely observed any of his tribe’s rituals, but after watching the twin towers collapse from the roof of his Queens loft, he felt a primal need to say Kaddish.
So he wandered into the Sunnyside Jewish Center, and ended up staying long enough to say a kind of Kaddish — a mourners’ prayer — for the synagogue building itself. Once flush with 1,500 members, the congregation had fewer than 50, who could no longer afford the building’s upkeep.
Within four years, the grand edifice that had hosted teeming Yom Kippur services and countless bar mitzvahs was sold to and torn down by a developer, leaving a rubble-strewn lot.
But unlike many of his broken-hearted members, Mr. Banberger, who had become the Jewish center’s president, did not simply grieve.
Using some of the $4.9 million from the sale of the old building, he has resurrected the synagogue in what was a two-family house a few blocks away. The new basement prayer space is what many Jews might have dismissed as a shtibl, a little prayer room, but Mr. Banberger is working with an architect to a remodel it for a synagogue look.
Still, Mr. Banberger, a tall, bearded 66-year-old graphic designer whom other members call “the new kid on the block,” acknowledges that it is a desperate roll of the dice. “So you might call me a dreamer,” he said. “Yeh, I’m a dreamer, but sometimes fantasies become reality.”