Crown Heights Religious Nonprofit Running Illegal Hotel

CROWN HEIGHTS — A Brooklyn Orthodox Jewish charity whose mission is to help the needy has been operating an illegal hotel charging Manhattan prices, officials said.

The Chabad Lubavitch Hospitality Center at 272 Kingston Ave. which was set up to provide “free meals and cash assistance to the needy and a religious publication” was issued multiple violations for “illegal transient use” on July 21 by the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement, a spokesman said.

The center had also been operating without a valid certificate of occupancy for more than a year, according to Department of Buildings records.

A receptionist at the center told a DNAinfo reporter that it charges between $130 and $300 per night and includes rooms that sleep up to six people.

Manager Carlo Minkowitz said the center operates as a “religious accommodation house” for people in need, but that it also rents rooms to the general public.

The center has more than 35 reviews online under the name “Eshel Hotel” and was listed on at least one international Jewish site.

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