Some people just never learn. After having finally settled a years-long discrimination lawsuit, a new lawsuit is accusing Jackson Township of religious discrimination against Orthodox Jews. The lawsuit pertains to the township’s refusal to allow Rabbi Matzliach to use his home’s garage for minyanim.
Rabbi Matzliach had applied in 2021 for a zoning permit to use his home’s detached garage as a recreation room for family life, which would also be used for minyanim. The application was denied by zoning officer Jeffrey Purpuro, and the decision was appealed to the Zoning Board.
The Zoning Board subsequently upheld the permit denial “on the erroneous legal basis that a use variance would be required to allow such home worship in their garage,” according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit now accuses Jackson Township of having “intentionally targeted Plaintiffs’ religious exercise within the Township, enforcing its unconstitutional zoning ordinance in an effort to frustrate Plaintiffs’ attempts to engage in Orthodox Jewish prayer.”
The documents filed in court mention Jackson’s history of anti-Orthodox Jewish discrimination, including multiple specific instances of bigotry on the part of Jackson’s residents and discrimination by Township officials against Orthodox Jews.
The lawsuit notes that Zoning Board Chairwoman Lynne Bradley’s husband, Thomas, mentioned at a recent Township Council hearing that they councilmembers were “opening the door for cultural genocide” by amending the township’s master plan in accordance with a settlement agreement for previous religious discrimination lawsuits Jackson has contended with.