BREAKING: Rabbi files lawsuit against 55 + community for religious and disability discrimination

Rabbi Philip Lefkowitz, a retired Orthodox Rabbi, formerly of Chicago, has filed a complaint against Westlake Golf and Country Club in Jackson, New Jersey for religious and disability discrimination.

For two years the Rabbi has attempted to receive an accommodation to allow him to build a succah on his property larger than the dimensions allowed in the Association bylaws. This is to accommodate the wheelchairs used by him and his sons due to amputations as a result of diabetes. He has made several suggestions, all of which have been rejected by the Association board.

(See earlier report.)

Additionally, the Rabbi has requested that a gate presently locked on the premises be opened to accommodate his disability, allowing him to attend religious services. The only other route available to him and his two sons requires them to travel a distance of 1.3 miles, most of which is a long a very busy road with few sidewalks, requiring them to enter the traffic lanes. The response of the Association was that opening this gate would “change the character” of the community.


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There are 13 Comments to "BREAKING: Rabbi files lawsuit against 55 + community for religious and disability discrimination"

  • hope d says:

    Go Rabbi..this behavior can not be allowed any longer the boards anti semitism is blantant

  • YP says:

    The optics of this are so bad for the Country club, I am surprised they wont just acquiesce to his requests. A disabled senior with amputations. It’s quite shocking.

  • Amil Zola says:

    I’d be interested to find out what width door the rabbi is interested in including in his succah. ADA specs indicate a door with of 32″ minimum to 45″ max.

  • Eli says:

    Good luck with lawsuit
    It’s a no brainer

  • Anne J. says:

    The best of luck. You are a strong force and you can and will use your determination to overcome this obstacle.

  • Chamor HaDor says:

    Why r ppl moving there? SMH

  • dan says:

    HOA President Bobbie is a Jewish lady who sadly does not live with Jewish ACCEPTANCE..shame oh shame

  • Michele says:

    Why would the Rabi move in to a community where he knew the gate would be locked and he could only build a certain sized succah? I live in a community and I knew what I can and cannot do before I signed on the dotted line. Just sayin…

    • Anne says:

      Maybe he moved in before he was wheelchair-bound and these things weren’t then an issue for him. Or maybe he assumed that they would be accommodating and that these very reasonable requests would be granted!

  • Jackson strong says:

    I’m pretty sure the gate only got locked once he started using it. He has tried everything to avoid this lawsuit and has been far more patient than most people would be.

  • Mordechi Ort says:

    A person is entitled to move into any HOA or neighborhood and be able to fully practice their religion. In addtion accomodations for disability and religion are required by law. Previous status are Null and Void and one need not ask before moving into any neigborhood if they can because of race, gender, disability or religion. This is the USA and we all can live side by side and yet practice our religion, or accomodations of disability and not need approval from current residents todo so.

  • Anna lopez says:

    HOA by laws do not supersede state or federal housing laws. That being said, remember that many of these by-laws were written years ago before population changes took place. Township code also comes into play, many don’t allow these types of temporary structures. Also, back to the by-laws, the rules are strict in many because they want to maintain a common look and feel for the community. Lake Ridge, for example, has some of the strictest rules regarding anything on your lot I have experienced. While I agree there must be respect, the rules are there for a purpose.

  • David says:

    Watch for higher association fees connectiom with this case.
    Would have been cheaper, easier and the right thing to do to open the door.