Residents of the Ramot Sapir neighborhood in Haifa are furious that the city did not take advantage of a NIS 400,000 grant from the Religious Affairs Ministry to build a synagogue in the area, and that now the ministry has decided to re-allocate the money elsewhere, reports Yediot Haifa. Residents said they fought for two years to try to get the money for a synagogue, but the municipality simply has not been interested. According to the report, a residents' committee led by local charity head Eli Ben Shoshan worked toward getting a neighborhood synagogue built, and even obtained the blessings of chief Sephardi rabbi Shlomo Amar and Haifa's chief rabbi She'ar Yashuv-Hacohen, as well as the offer of a grant of NIS 400,000 from the Religious Affairs Ministry. But the city has refused to allow the synagogue to be built, for reasons that residents say are not clear. A municipal spokesman said the problem was that the grant money was insufficient to pay fully for the synagogue project, and local organizations needed to raise the remainder of the money but had not done so. Residents said, however, that the city should not have given up on the grant. "They should have taken the grant money first, then worried about where they'd get the rest of the money," one resident said. The report said it was "ironic" that the money was being re-allocated to build a synagogue in the Negev town of Yeroham, the mayor of which is former Haifa mayor Amram Mitzna.