After seven long years, Jackson Township will settle an Agudath Israel discrimination lawsuit filed in March 2017 and led by Avi Schnall, alleging discrimination against Orthodox Jewish residents. The settlement is scheduled to be approved at the Council’s upcoming meeting this coming Tuesday.
While the settlement details are not yet publicly know, there are two ordinances scheduled to be voted on at Tuesday’s meeting, which presumably contain the details of the settlement, which likely include details making it easier to establish shuls, schools, and dorms in Jackson.
The settlement will come after years of legal wrangling. In 2017, Agudath Israel, under the direction of Rabbi Avi Schnall, filed a lawsuit against Jackson after the Township Council, under pressure from Jackson Strong, enacted discriminatory and unconstitutional ordinances banning yeshivos, dormitories, and an interpretation of zoning laws prohibiting eruvin.
Under a consent order announced in June 2022, the township was required to replace the discriminatory 2017 ordinance with one that allows “religious elementary and secondary schools, religious higher learning institutions, and religious residential schools.”
At the time of the antisemitic ordinances being passed, Avi Schnall spoke eloquently to the Council at the meeting, urging them not to wade into antisemitic actions. His testimony can be watched in the video at the end of this article.
Despite Schnall’s exhortations, the Jackson Council passed the ordinances, to the exhilaration of the Jackson Strong crowd in attendance. They were excited at the time, but those ordinances did nothing but cause a world of hurt for Jackson Township.
Following consultations with the Moetzes, the Agudah sued Jackson, alleging discrimination against the township’s Jewish residents.
Now, after seven years of painful litigation and painstaking negotiations with new Jackson councilmembers who are not ambivalent to Orthodox Jews, a palatable agreement has apparently been reached to bring the lawsuit to a close.
Specific details of the settlement are expected to be released next Wednesday.
Video credit: Jackson Times. The full video from the Times can be watched here.