Friday, November 30, 2018

Hasidic Jewish School Sues For Right To Expand

A lawsuit was filed this week in a New York federal district court against the Village of Airmont charging that the village and its school board are engaged in a coordinated effort to prevent the local Hasidic Jewish community from expanding a religious school which operates on a 21-acre piece of land.  The 75-page complaint (full text) in Central UTA of Monsey v. Village of Airmont, New York, (SD NY, filed 11/28/2018), claims violations of RLUIPA, the 1st and 14th Amendments and the New York state constitution, contending:
Village officials have attempted to place a cap on the total number of Hasidic Jewish children that may be educated at Central UTA's Hasidic Jewish religious school, angry protesters have prevented a meeting of the Planning Board to consider Central UTA's application to build two new school buildings from occurring, and Village officials' political campaign advertisements paint an apocalyptic picture of what will happen if their opponents who support the rights of the Hasidic Jewish community are elected....
Defendants are using their political policymaking and enforcement authority to use the Village's zoning laws and ordinances to prevent and dissuade Hasidic Jews from joining their community and denying those families that have moved to the area their rights to school services that are guaranteed under the law.
First Liberty issued a press release announcing the filing of the lawsuit.