Court narrows lawsuit alleging bias against hasidim

June 11, 2015
A lawsuit claiming that the Village of Bloomingburg discriminated against Hasidic Jews wanting to live there has survived a winnowing of allegations by a federal judge.
     Southern District Judge Katherine Forrest dismissed several claims, and several plaintiffs and defendants, from the case of Village of Bloomingburg Jewish Education Center v. Village of Bloomingburg, 14-cv-7250, including allegations that village officials discriminated against Hasidim who wanted to build a religious school there.
     But Forrest refused to dismiss claims that a discriminatory animus is blocking certificates of occupancy and building approvals at a major housing development in the 400-resident Catskills village.
     Forrest also declined to dismiss charges that religious discrimination was behind the denial of permission to build a mikvah, a bath used by Hasidic Jews for ritual immersion and purification, in the Town of Mamakating, in which the Village of Bloomingburg sits. The Mamakating Zoning Board of Appeals held that the mikvah did not qualify as a place of worship.