Friday, July 8, 2016

Agudah joins Lakewood yeshiva in suit against Ocean Township zoning board

Agudath Israel to NJ Federal Court: Ocean Township Zoning Board Violates Yeshiva’s Rights: In a federal lawsuit pitting a major yeshiva against a local zoning board, Agudath Israel of America is contending that the board’s refusal to grant the yeshiva certain zoning variances necessary for the yeshiva to operate is motivated by a political cave-in to anti-charedi bias.

Yeshiva Gedola Na’os Yaakov of Lakewood, New Jersey, under the leadership of the Rosh Hayeshiva Rabbi Shloime Feivel Schustal, has grown rapidly since its inception several years ago, and has far outgrown its current quarters in Lakewood.
To meet its need for a larger space with full dormitory facilities, the yeshiva acquired spacious property in Ocean Township, and applied to the Township’s Zoning Board for the necessary zoning variances.

The yeshiva subsequently filed a lawsuit against the Township in federal district court, and has asked the court to issue a preliminary injunction requiring the Zoning Board to allow the yeshiva to move forward. It is in support of such injunction that Agudath Israel has now requested an opportunity to make its views known as an “amicus curiae” (friend of the court).

The proposed Agudath Israel brief, written by attorney Ronald D. Coleman, a partner in the firm Archer & Greiner, P.C., argues that the Township’s denial of a variance constitutes a violation of the First Amendment and RLUIPA (the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act); that the yeshiva’s application to establish a dormitory-based facility is fundamental to its religious mission and is based on an esteemed and widely accepted tradition in Judaism; and that the “noise” and “safety” pretexts relied on by the Zoning Board in denying the yeshiva’s application have no basis in the record and are plainly discriminatory.

Said Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, the organization’s executive vice president: “This case is just the latest example of the type of challenge our community faces as it grows and is forced to contend with hostile neighbors who are determined to keep Orthodox Jews out of their neighborhoods. Of course, it is incumbent upon us to do everything we can to co-exist respectfully and peacefully with our neighbors, to be sensitive to whatever legitimate concerns they may have, and to conduct ourselves in a way that will lead to harmonious relations with entrenched communities. At the same time, however, we have rights as do all other American citizens, and we must stand guard against efforts to inhibit our community’s growth

4 comments:

  1. Filing a lawsuit and forcing your view on the town is not the way to create a friendly environment. The plaintiff knows no longer values that most and is now just burning bridges to get what they want.

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  2. I DONT GET IT YESHIVA OF OCEAN MOVED FROM THAT PROPERTY BECAUSE OF ALL THE PROBLEMS WITH THE TOWN SO WHY DID RAV SCHUSTAL TAKE THIS PROPERTY IF HE NOWS ITS NOTHING BUT A BUNCH OF PROBLEMS AND WAIST ALL THAT MONEY ON LAWYERS IM SHORE SOME OF IT IS DONATED AND CAN GO TO MUCH BETTER USE AND HE CAN FINED A BETTER BUILDING IN A NICER SPOT I JUST DONT GET WHY HE IS DOING THIS

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    Replies
    1. your caps lock is on.

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  3. And your spell check is off!!

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