New Home Sweet Home for Disabled Man
By: Lore Croghan
April 23rd, 2006
THERE’S A HAPPY ENDING in sight for a disabled Holocaust survivor who has been living as a virtual prisoner in his Brooklyn home.
After two years of legal wrangling, tomorrow Chaim Indig, who uses a wheelchair, is set to move into a handicapped-accessible co-op in Premier House – a luxury Midwood building whose board initially had turned him away.
“He indicated he’s excited about the move,” said his daughter, Shevie Sinensky, who must speak for Indig because Parkinson’s disease has robbed him of the ability to talk. “I am grateful to God he will finally have a comfortable home to live the rest of his life in dignity and comfort.”
The Borough Park house he’s vacating has 10 steps outside the front door, so he can’t get out without a stretcher and two men to carry it.
The apartment where Indig, 83, a survivor of Auschwitz, and his wife, Sara, will live has handicapped-accessible elevators. He can join other elderly residents who sit outside the building in wheelchairs, Sinensky said.
He also will be able to get fresh air on his own terrace, and use a wheelchair-accessible shower instead of taking sponge baths.
“Mr. Indig gets to live the rest of his life in freedom and peace, without the bars of his Holocaust prison or the steps of his house,” said Adam Leitman Bailey, who had been the Indigs’ lawyer.
Son-in-law Gary Sinensky bought the $412,500 co-op at 1401 Ocean Ave. for Indig after a legal settlement with the Premier House board. The seller was board member Solomon Rokowsky, who purchased the flat after Indig was turned down in his bid to buy it in March 2004.
The Indigs and Gary Sinensky had sued Rokowsky and other board members, alleging discrimination against Indig because of his disability.
Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice David Schmidt dismissed the discrimination charge. But an appeals court reversed that decision, and Schmidt pressed everyone to make peace.
“The judge used his good offices to bridge the gap between the two parties,” said Israel Goldberg, a lawyer for the board. “There’s no animus.”