Agudath Israel hailed the decision issued last week by a federal court in favor of Yeshiva Naos Yaakov, a 96-student Jewish boarding school for boys.
United States District Judge Freda Wolfson ruled that the denial of the variances by Ocean Township, NJ violates RLUIPA. Agudath Israel of America helped to draft RLUIPA (The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act) which became law in 2000. RLUIPA prohibits local zoning boards from imposing or implementing zoning and other land use regulations in a manner that significantly affects the free religious exercise of a person, assembly, or institution. This decision will allow the yeshiva to build a dormitory-based facility.
Rabbi Avi Schnall, Agudath Israel’s New Jersey director, said, “This decision makes a statement that the religious liberties of institutions and individuals will be defended even in the face of opposition. It also sends a clear message that our religious rights will not be trampled upon and we hope this will serve as an example to other municipalities.”
Rabbi Schnall continued “Agudath Israel is proud to have worked together with the yeshiva and its attorney and is delighted with this positive outcome.”
To read the judges order click here.