BREAKING: Judge Denies Lakewood Yeshiva’s Motion To Reverse Dorm Ruling

An Ocean County Superior Court judge has denied the motion brought by a local Yeshiva seeking to reverse an earlier ruling overturning the Township Planning Board’s approval of the their dormitory expansion.

Earlier this year, Ocean County Superior Court Judge Marlene Ford threw out an approval granted to a Lakewood yeshiva by the Lakewood Planning Board after neighbors of the Yeshiva, represented by Attorney Jan Meyer, argued that the Planning Board had no jurisdiction over the application.

In today’s decision from Judge Francis Hodgson, who replaced the now retired Judge Ford, explained that Lakewood Township does not consider dormitories to be a permitted use in residential zoning districts and therefore the Planning Board had no jurisdiction.

The motion to reverse had been submitted just hours before Judge Ford officially retired.

The Yeshiva, which has been trying to enlarge their dormitory adjacent to their existing building, faced opposition from neighbors in several nearby developments, who raised a number of concerns.

The Planning Board ultimately approved the application, although they did add on a list of conditions, including that the Yeshiva construct a 12-foot fence around the new building and install frosted windows

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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  1. even the non Jews would ask the yeshiva bochurim to walk across their fields so that their produce should be blessed it is a known fact that a yeshiva building and yeshiva students who are committed to learning Torah without distractions like the way it was in Europe and before that in Israel, have always brought blessing to the neighbors

    • Then move back to Europe and Israel where that is allowed. In America you do not walk across someone’s yard and no one is looking to Jewish people to bless them. Freedom of religion, no one religion is above any other here.

  2. I hoep the neighbors have a real psak allowing them to take a yeshiva to court. If not, the SH”A has very negative things to say about such reshaim.
    There is a Yom HaDin…

    • I hope you have a real Psak to call other Yidden the word “reshaim”.
      If not, the SH”A has very non-positive things to say about such people that are not big Tzadikim.
      There is a Yom HaDin…

    • If you were really concerned about honesty, here’s what you should know:

      When the gemara says in Bava Basra that עולם הפוך ראיתי, where those that make themselves appear as the tzaddikim and the others as the reshaim, it was referring to a situation just like this one – where the opposite of what things are made to seem like, is the truth.

      The school’s directors pushed shoved and bullied the neighborhood like they can do whatever they feel like, regardless of the resulting problems they will cause. They need to learn a lot of mussar and start caring about הלכות נזקי שכנים and בין אדם לחבירו. It is important to practice what you preach. Especially for the Yom HaDin. All the loud booing, mocking of the neighbors, and other disrespectful behavior at the public hearing was a real eye opener about this particular institution.

      If they still refuse, then they always have the option of selling this place and relocating to a bigger location which can accommodate a monster size dormitory.

      • What a great idea! My son’s yeshiva is looking to buy a nice property with a building. They’d be happy to buy this school that’s outgrown its facility and needs to relocate. Who can I contact?

  3. Either way they will get approved. It might take some time and a lot more money of ממון הקדש . So what’s the make them spend all this extra money. And then if they don’t get approved. They can file article 78 under rulpa..the law says that u have to be less restricted for places of worship. so u can have a religious institution in any zone. Not to be allowed a Dormitory in a certain zone is illegal.

  4. Rav Elyashiv paskened that a rosh mosad of a Talmud Torah cannot abuse the Torah for his own gain, especially when the nizkei scheinim involves Hezeika D’rabim.

    The board members and extended family members of this yeshiva that wish to expand their empire don’t have a carte blanche to do as they wish but must – according to daas torah – be considerate of the neighbors.

  5. Dear armchair lawyer, it’s not rulpa but rulipa . And the law is not to unduly burden a congregation which wishes to worship this is not a unduly burden, and it’s not for worship it’s obviously a school and if they manage to ram through what they want it’s obviously a misuse of the law not for what it was intended. The benefit is to is not just for this dormitory but to put a stop to building shuls all over town on undersized lots which make people’s lives miserable. Cars parking in illegal spots since the parking lot of the shul is so small. Blocking people’s vision and blocking traffic. It’s high time for people to realize that as much as it’s beautiful to build a shul there are other considerations too people count too

  6. I had a very difficult problem when a Yeshiva moved in next door in a very residential, quiet neighborhood. As an Orthodox Jew, I was at first happy to have Torah learning nearby. But, soon after, the problem began. The bochurim, understandably, wanted to play ball on their breaks. Fine. But the noise was unbelievable. Frankly, as someone who was an avid athlete back in the day, I don’t remember the screaming and I don’t mean a loud call for someone to pass the ball; I mean screaming like murder, just screaming, shrieking and continuously.

    I waited a bit to see if maybe it was a passing phase, but no. Then, I went to speak to the Rosh Yeshiva, very friendly and calm and he assured me that he would take care of it. Whatever he did did not work. I went to see him a couple more times, always friendly and with the same result. The last time, he told me they are planning to move out in the not-too-distant future. It took a while, but they did move out. I never complained to any township authorities even though I was sometimes pretty upset about the situation.

    Moral of the story: in the times we live in with the concept of zoning, there are areas that are appropriate for certain activities and areas that are not. A Yeshiva in a quiet neighborhood, for example, just doesn’t work. I am really surprised that Roshei Yeshiva, who should be examples of the most ehrliche behavior, would try to force a project where it is not appropriate for its surroundings and which definitely causes harm and distress to neighbors. They are probably struggling with the incredibly high cost of real estate, but still, I don’t think that justifies forcing the issue on others.

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