Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Agudath Israel Files Illegal Discrimination Lawsuit Against Jackson Township , NJ

NEWS FROM AGUDATH ISRAEL OF AMERICA
  
Agudath Israel Files Illegal Discrimination Lawsuit Against New Jersey Township 
Agudath Israel of America and W R Property , a property owner in Jackson, have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New Jersey against the T ow nship of Jackson, New Jersey , challenging  new Jackson zoning regulations, asserting that they are inte nded to prevent Orthodox Jews from opening schools or dormitories in Jackson. The suit alleges that the regulations were enacted wit h the express
purpose of such anti-Orthodox discriminati on, and are in clear violation of Federal law 
The ordinances that are being challenged in Federal court were passe d this March by the Town Council of Jackson, which borders Lakew ood, in an area where many Orthodox Jews live. The lawsuit contends that the regulations were clearly motivated by a de sire to prevent Orthodox Jews
from moving to Jackson, and “ by discriminatory animus against the Orthodox Jewish community .”

The suit cites a number of examples of such anim us, expressed by public off icials and by vocal segments of the public.
Last year former T ow nship Council President Rob Nixon called an Agudath
Israel leader ’ s suggestion that Orthodox Jews consider Jackson as a place to live “repre hensible.”
Nixon went so far as to file a complaint against the Agudath Israel leader with the U.S. Justice Department and the New Jersey Attorney General’ s o f fice, both of which saw no merit to Nix on’ scomplaint.

Other allegations in the Complaint include recitati ons of statements made by local residents at
T ownship meetings and in online forums, such as “All of yo ur problems only stem from the Ultra-
Religious! The Hasidics and Ultra-Orthodox!”

Citing these and numerous other examples of anti-Or thodox animus in recent years, and particularly
surrounding the enactment of the no school and t he no dormitory ordinances in Jackson, the Agudath
Israel and W R Property lawsuit alleges violation of the U.S. Constitutio n’ s Equal Protection, Free
Exercise and Establishment Clauses and Freedom of Association principles; four clauses of the
federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000; the Fair Housing Act; and
New Jersey’ s Law Against Discrimination.

The suit seeks a judgment holding the township’ s ordinances unconstitutional and illegal, and their
annulment, as well as attorneys’ fees and nominal damages.

According to Rabbi A vi Schnall, Agudath Israel’ s New Jersey Off ice director , “Orthodox Jews, like
any other person, have the basic right, protecte d by federal law , to live where they please. Local laws
intended to keep people out of an area or T ownship based on religion or ethnicity vi olate Federal law
Orthodox Jews have the right to open sc hools, build houses of worship, and develop businesses, j ust
like any other group, and this essential value of freedom of religion, on which America was founded,
is being denied.”

The plaintiff s are represented by Storzer & Associates, a law firm that has vast experience in
representing religious communities’ interests in land use disputes, and with whom Agudath Israel has
worked over the past few years.
                                                                                            # # #
Agudath Israel of America | lzagelbaum@agudathisrael.orgt

40 comments:

  1. Why no lawsuit about Westgate. Not allowing shuls to be built. what's the difference? There is a major shortage of seats yet they don't let desperately needed shuls to build.

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    1. Right, this would not be Hefkervelt without an obligatory Westgate reference. Thank for getting that out of the way.

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    2. I used too think your rants and anxiety about Westate would drive you insane, now I realize it is too late.

      Not that I disagree, but this isn't a Westgate blog, although you can always start one and post the same thing every day.

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    3. Anon @ 10:58, the only reason the "rants and anxiety about Westgate" would bother you would be if you had a guilty conscience about what was done there. If you're not guilty then why would you care who rants about what?!

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    4. I live 2 miles from Westgate and am not politically involved. I don't disagree that Westgate has problems, but repating the same comments over and over again for a year is getting annoying and accomplishes nothing.

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    5. After reading so much about Westgate and still not having a clue what you're talking about, at this point, I am frankly happy your shul in Westgate wasn;t allowed to be built. You don;t deserve a shul if all you do is complain.

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    6. That's a very Yiddish attitude to take! I'm glad that under the guise of anonymity you feel comfortable enough to show your true colors. May the RBS"O bentch you with all good things and may He also give you the grace of fargining other people.

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  2. There us nobody to sue. The Westgate shul pulled back their application and dies not seem to have the guts to force the board to vote. If the application were denied,then there would be a record and the lawyers would see if they could sue. Its the fault of the applicant for not proceeding. You can't sue if you don't ask for a vote.

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    1. sue the planning board for talking to people prior to the application being heard and using stall tactics.
      Sue the Westgate vaad/maffia for stopping the shul.

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    2. Didn't the Rov say in his shabbos Hagodol drawback that we should fargin everyone? Classic case of "do as I say, not as I do"!!

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  3. Why didn't Agudah also include the fact that shuls are essentially disallowed in Jackson?

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  4. Agudah making themselves relevant on the backs of the lakewood community. Did they get advice of gedolim before filing suit? Since when was Agudah involved in local issues?? Next we will s e the membership drive in full swing. Agudah is a "has been" organization.

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  5. There are so many issues of Greater import than..

    And where is Agudah??


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  6. Pampered Lakewood Suburbanite AmericanMay 10, 2017 at 10:57 PM

    Agudath Yisroel has been at the Front Lines of Orthodox Judiasm in America. you may not relize it because you live in your self absorbed little Bubble with a 5 bedroom single home with a Jacuzi and and 2 Leased Cars in your Drivewayz

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  7. I don't know what this lawsuit is trying to accomplish. Jackson is just trying to maintain the character of their town through good zoning. Wouldn't have we done the same thing decades ago if we knew what would have become of Lakewood? We are fighting it now, and they want to stop it from ever getting that far.

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  8. I'm happy that you are honest. You are fighting that Lakewood should not have any Mosdos hachinuch or shuls. You would like it to look like Jackson. At least we now see what you guys want.

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    1. Was meant to be in reply to someone? Jackson could never outright ban Mosdos hacinuch or shuls.

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    2. There is absolutely no reason why a Mossad hachinuch or shul should be allowed to be put up on lakewoods standards. No reason a shul with 200+ seats should only need 8 parking spots. No reason a school with 30+ classrooms should be approved with 40 spots.

      That's the reason why Jackson and tons river are so strong with their zoning. Because Lakewood looks like it does. No lawsuit needed. Just a look in the mirror.

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    3. Parking wasn't the issue with kelm woods - the Mikveh was! How on earth can you forget?

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  9. In Jackson even if you have enough parking ,its almost impossible to build a shul near any residential neighborhood. Schools are impossible even with a million parking spaces.

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  10. Dear Agudah,
    Can you please help out residents living at the Westgate development in Lakewood. There is a desperate need for shuls the current shuls are all packed to the rafters. Yet there is a self appointed vaad who won't allow shuls to build or expand. They only want 1 above ground shul that services them.
    Father's and children have no set place to daven due to lack of room. The Rabbonim have no power and are scared to stand up to a few bullies who made it their life mission to deny other shuls. This can not go on Please help.

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    1. It's interesting that the same ANTI SEMITIC lawyer who opposed the Bais Yakov in Jackson was hired by the powers that be to fight the shul in Westgate. Not only that, but they even went collecting outside of Westgate for this heilige mitzvah.

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  11. Dear Westgate resident,

    Please apply to the planning board for your shul. Do not listen to the self appointed vaad. If the planning board turns you down for no good reason , then please send us the transcript of the full hearing. We will send it to our attorney and help you file suit against the planning board. If you do not apply and get a full transcript with the reasons you were turned down ,we cannot file suit or help you. We can not file suit based on some alleged vaad or other hearsay. We need a clear transcript of the rejection of your application and then we can help you. Without such a transcript ,we are not able to do anything. Even if you feel that you will for sure get rejected ,it is of utmost importance to apply so we can get a record of the rejection do that we can appeal. No appeal or lawsuit is possible without an application. Nobody can help you without an application. Not applying means that you are not serious about really building a shul.

    Sincerely yours.

    Agudah.

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    1. You are obviously not associated or involved at all with Agudah, Your condescending response is indicative of the exact opposite. You know good and well the shenanigans that went on with the planning board and westgate mafia dragging the shul application around for over 2 years figuring out ways to postpone it and deny the shul. Eventually they hired a lawyer paid for with funds collected in and outside westgate who then brought up issues on the property that did not matter but nevertheless was good enough to stop the shul.
      Whoever had a yad in that is asid litein es hadin.

      WHO CAN TAKE THE ACHRAYUS TO IGNORE A PSAK BAIS DIN AND DENY CHILDREN AND FATHERS FROM DAVENING IN SHUL????

      Remember thee children only grow up once and their precious youthful years of coming to shul with totty was DENIED BY MUSHCHASIM FOR PURE KINAH SINAH AND GAAVAH.

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  12. The Westgate blogger is a little strange. None if us are from Westgate and we don't know anything good and well other than what he keeps writing here. One thing we do know. If he was really interested in,making a shul he would apply to the planning board. If he gets turned down ,then he has a reason to appeal or sue. If he can't even take out the time to apply ,he is just a broken record of a non serious person. There is nobody on the world who thinks that a person who can't even be bothered to apply ,is really serious. You can write all you want about vaad ,mafia,shenanigans etc etc but actions speak,lifer than words. Just go ahead and apply or keep quiet

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  13. I read the response from Agudah. I did not find it condescending in any way. It sounds very,logical and reasoned. No application means no appeal or lawsuit is possible. No application shows a lack of interest in having a shul.

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  14. Mr Westgate

    Could you please tell us once and for all why the Shul can not apply. We are not from your neighborhood and you keep talking in riddles about shenanigans and stuff like that. Could you please give us the real reason why the Shul is not applying so we can sympathize with you.

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  15. For all those who are clueless or ignorant the shul in west gate applied a few times only to get the run around from the politicians and the planning board. On top of that members of ropshitz shul hired a lawyer to fight the application. Perhaps speak to Rav Zimbal and ask him to take achrayus for the lack of shuls and seats in Westgate.

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  16. Your answers are pathetic. Everybody knows that the planning board has to either approve or deny an application unless the applicant does not choose to go forward. Even in cases where the applicant knows he will get denied ,he lets them vote so he can have a record to appeal. There is no such thing under the law as a completed application not being heard and getting the run around. There is something missing here that you are not sharing with us.

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  17. Anyone who keeps hacking at kelm woods shul to "just apply or you're obviously not interested in really having a shul", should PLEASE familiarize themselves with what actually went on when the shul DID apply - numerous times. Anyone who tries to blink facts or bluff everyone is at fault. As has been posted many times (like you keep complaining!) the shul did apply and was pushed off countless time with stalling tactics due to certain influential figures on the other side having an "in" with the planning board members. They then hired a (known anti Semitic) lawyer to stop the shul from being allowed to build by finding a technicality on the property that never usually presents a problem.

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  18. Well ,if this technicality never usually is a problem and other shuls have been allowed to build with such a technicality ,then ask for a vote and when you get denied then you can prove bias that you have been treated different than,others. You will then win your lawsuit. Your not asking for a vote makes no sense to anybody.

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  19. How many times should people take off from night kollel for these meetings only to be given the runaround and pushed off?

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  20. Please understand. We are not Westgate people. We dont know the politics. Your hacking here will get you nowhere. If you get denied on a technicality that others normally don't get denied for ,then people will be sympathetic and help you with your lawsuit. Without that,every body just looks at you like a dreykop. So if you want help you can't just hack on a blog. You need s clear record of why you were denied so,people can see things and help you. Unless you just enjoy blogging and dont really want to be helped.

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  21. If you're just looking at us like a dreykop then why do you feel the need to respond? Why don't you find out the facts for yourself?

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  22. Maybe he's one of the guys who gave money for the lawyer, or he has some relative either on the planning board or in the Maggie. Obviously he feels the need to cover up for someone.

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  23. The only one that is covering up here is the poster who keeps hacking,but refuses to tell us why they are not applying. He also refuses to tell us what this technicality is that is never a problem by other shuls and is a problem by them. Do how can anybody make a rational decision ad to whether he has a legitimate point ,if he supposedly knows the facts but won't divulge them. What is the big secret here ?

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  24. Ask the maffia

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  25. You are right. Since you choose not to tell us why you wont apply or what this technicality is, we have no more reason to reply or even care about your situation.

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