BREAKING: Bais Brucha Shul, Under Auspices of Rabbi Mordechai Sekula, Wins Lawsuit Against Toms River [UPDATED]

Bais Brucha, under the auspices of Rabbi Mordechai Sekula, celebrates today a significant legal victory as a federal court has ruled in its favor in its lawsuit against the Township of Toms River, New Jersey and the Township’s Zoning Board of Adjustment.

The win comes after an approximately three-year battle, which prevented the Shul from building within the Township.

Filed in 2021, Bais Brucha’s lawsuit alleged that Toms River Township orchestrated a discriminatory campaign against the Orthodox Jewish community to impede its growth. The Plaintiffs alleged that Toms River implemented discriminatory zoning regulations to prevent the construction of synagogues generally, and specifically prevented its own synagogue from locating in the Township. The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey has now ruled in favor of the Bais Brucha congregation by finding that it is entitled to judgment against defendant Toms River Township as a matter of law.

The court held that the Township of Toms River’s zoning regulations of synagogues and other places of worship violated the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, as well as certain provisions of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (commonly known as “RLUIPA”). The court ruled that the Township’s zoning ordinance treated places of worship differently from non-religious uses, and that places of worship were unreasonably excluded from the Township – both violations of RLUIPA. The Court’s opinion found that:

[T]he undisputed allegations in the pleadings, the hostility expressed by Township residents and officials, together with the stipulated facts in the Consent Order, supports a finding that anti-Semitic animus was a motivating factor of the Land Use Regulations.

The zoning provisions therefore also violated the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, as the Court held.

“Our clients are deeply grateful that the court has affirmed the fundamental principle that places of worship must not face unjust and discriminatory exclusion from any municipality,” said Bais Brucha attorney Roman P. Storzer. “We remain committed to defending our clients’ rights to live, learn and worship as freely as any other citizen.”

Plaintiff Bais Brucha is represented by Storzer & Associates, P.C. Attorney Roman Storzer was recognized by the Religion Newswriters Association as “one of the country’s most experienced litigators” in the field, and has successfully represented Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Native American, Sikh and other religious organizations in RLUIPA and First Amendment cases throughout the nation. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., Storzer & Associates, P.C. has a principled commitment to defending the right to practice one’s faith without undue government interference. The firm represents religious groups of all traditions in matters concerning zoning, housing matters, land use, and eminent domain. Storzer & Associates has represented scores of churches, temples, mosques and synagogues in land use conflicts from Hawaii to Florida.



This content, and any other content on TLS, may not be republished or reproduced without prior permission from TLS. Copying or reproducing our content is both against the law and against Halacha. To inquire about using our content, including videos or photos, email us at [email protected].

Stay up to date with our news alerts by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

**Click here to join over 20,000 receiving our Whatsapp Status updates!**

**Click here to join the official TLS WhatsApp Community!**

Got a news tip? Email us at [email protected], Text 415-857-2667, or WhatsApp 609-661-8668.