New Jersey Borough Discriminated Against Chabad Congregation: Lawsuit
[JTA] – The federal government is suing a New Jersey borough over allegations that it improperly restricted an Orthodox Jewish congregation from expanding its house of worship.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office filed a civil lawsuit against Woodcliff Lake, a Bergen County suburb about 20 miles northwest of New York City.
As reported by NorthJersey.com, the congregation, Valley Chabad operated a 3,194-square-foot building on a 1.27-acre site since 1998, often holding events off-site, as it claimed the site did not meet its needs.
The congregation attempted to relocate at least three times since 2005, but could not because of action by the borough council or its members.
In 2014, the congregation applied to the borough zoning board to raze its building and replace it one nearly six times larger. The board held 18 hearings, eventually suggesting six alternative properties, before denying the application, causing Valley Chabad to lose money, according to the lawsuit.
An attorney for Woodcliff Lake disputed the claims.