Brick Board to seek more answers on Orthodox Boys School Project


BRICK – The township adjustment council is expected to seek more responses from an Orthodox Jewish congregation offering to use the former Beth Or Temple on Van Zile Road as a boys’ religious school.

The impacts of traffic, the number of students enrolled and whether the buildings on the property will be used as student dormitories are questions that representatives of Congregation Kehilos Yisroel will likely be confronted with in their meeting with the Adjustment Council on December 20, according to questions from Council planners. written in response to congregation school plans.

The meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. and will be held at Civic Plaza, 270 Chambers Bridge Road. The site generated great interest from neighbors, who were taken by surprise when a school started operating there over the summer, without community notice or government approval.

The city continued to successfully shut down operations until congregation representatives met with the board of directors for a municipal change-of-use variance. The school remained closed.

Previously: Brick court hearing on house converted into dormitory postponed to December

The former Beth Or Temple on Van Zile Road in Brick Township is shown on Tuesday, August 17, 2021. The new owners of the site began operating it as an Orthodox Jewish Boys‘ High School before obtaining the required approvals from the township, according to officials at The Brick.

Schools and places of worship are both permitted conditional uses in the neighborhood under The Brick’s zoning rules. An attorney for the congregation has previously argued that city rules mean the school does not need a change-of-use waiver to operate.

But a Superior Court ruling favored Brick Township officials, who said the waiver was needed to convert the old temple into a private boys’ school.

How we got here: Brick officials say Orthodox Jewish school for boys opened without board approval

Plans recently submitted to council show that the main structure on the 4.11-acre land will include four classrooms that can accommodate 100 students, a kitchen, offices, a sanctuary and a multi-purpose room that can accommodate an additional 574 people.

Last month, the Brick zoning officials cited the congregation for various violations on their property, including garbage on the grounds, piles of tree branches, boarded up windows and a shabby fence. Citations result in fines of up to $ 2,000 if not fixed.

Lawyers for the congregation are expected to argue, under the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which protects religious schools, that these schools are of public interest and should be licensed by the board, on the base of documents submitted to the board of directors.

Passed by Congress in 2000, the law protects religious institutions from “unduly restrictive or discriminatory land use regulations,” according to the US Department of Justice. The law prohibits government entities from discriminating between religions, imposing a “substantial burden” on religious exercise, and requires that they treat places of worship as favorably as non-religious assemblies, such as fellowship halls. and banquet halls.

Amanda Oglesby is originally from Ocean County and covers the townships of Brick, Barnegat and Lacey as well as the environment. She has worked for the press for over a decade. Contact her at @OglesbyAPP, [email protected] or 732-557-5701.

This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Congregation Kehilos Yisroel School will appear before the Brick Board of Directors on December 20

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