An Orthodox Jewish group seeking to expand a religious boundary into the northwest corner of New Jersey has hired a Manhattan law firm to defend itself against possible legal action.
A member of the South Monsey Eruv Fund, which hopes to expand a religious enclosure known as an eruv into the towns of Mahwah, Upper Saddle River and Montvale, said the firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges is representing the group a pro bono basis, NewJersey.com reported.
The firm has a successful history of defending eruvs elsewhere, according to a release from lawyers.
The eruv is a ritual enclosure that allows for Jews to carry objects outside on the Sabbath. Some fear that more Orthodox Jews will move into the area after it is built.
This was the overflow room for a meeting in #Mahwah, NJ where residents raised concerns about an #Eruv in town pic.twitter.com/OrP0tr8m1Y— Jessica Layton (@JLaytonTV) July 28, 2017
The Eruv Fund had received approval from the local utility company post parts of the eruv to utility poles this spring, but a city engineer now says the eruv violated local rules against posting signs. The boundary was damaged earlier this week in at least four places and police are investigating the incident as a bias crime.
Sam Kestenbaum is a contributing editor and former staff writer for the Forward. Before this, he worked for The New York Times and newsrooms in Sana, Ramallah and Beijing. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum and on Instagram at @skestenbaum .