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Pomona, NY - Tartikov Town Dispute Back in Court

Published on: February 1, 2009 12:00 PM
By: Journal News
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Michael Tauber, the developer behind the controversial project.  Michael Tauber, the developer behind the controversial project. (Mark Vergari)Michael Tauber, the developer behind the controversial project.  Michael Tauber, the developer behind the controversial project. (Mark Vergari)

Pomona, NY - The dispute over a proposed rabbinical college returns to federal court Feb. 10.

U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth Karas will hear arguments in regards to the village’s request to dismiss a lawsuit by Congregation Rabbinical College of Tartikov .

Both sides submitted their written arguments a year ago. Nothing has since transpired.

John Stepanovich, a Virginia Beach, Va., attorney representing the congregation, said the Feb. 10 session will give the judge an opportunity to question the litigants.

“We expect a ruling to be made after the oral arguments,” Stepanovich said last week of the hearing scheduled in White Plains.

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In its lawsuit, the congregation has accused the village of prejudice against Hasidic Jews, and that its zoning discriminated against the Brooklyn-based congregation.

From the village’s perspective, the congregation had not sought any land-use permits, so there were no adverse municipal decisions to contest.

The village of about 3,000 people was upset two years ago by news that its population could be dwarfed by 1,000 or more students and their families living in six-story apartment buildings.

Ultimately, some residents said, the religious community could gain control of the village in the voting booth.

Paul Savad, a Nanuet attorney representing the congregation, said the intent was to build only enough for 250 students on what amounts to 130 acres off routes 202 and 306.

“It’s not like all of a sudden 1,000 students are going to appear in the village of Pomona,” Savad said.

He said the higher figures were initially used only for planning purposes showing the maximum build-out of the property.

“But that was just for the environmental review,” Savad said. “All we’re asking for is that the village must consider our request for 250 students.”

What could keep the village from considering the application is an ordinance that prohibits non-accredited educational facilities from building dormitories.

Tartikov was unaccredited a year ago when the legal arguments were first presented to the federal court, and it remains unaccredited today.

Savad said the possibility of accreditation was “thoroughly investigated” with both state and religious agencies, but Tartikov didn’t qualify because it had no certifiable academic program.

Paul Savad, the lawyer for the Tartikov developers. (Mark Vergari)Paul Savad, the lawyer for the Tartikov developers. (Mark Vergari)

Tartikov’s purpose, as presented by its organizers, was to promote the study of Biblical laws to prepare students to preside over rabbinical courts.

Village attorney Doris Ullman said she was unaware what the numbers of students would be because Tartikov never delivered a site plan.

“I don’t know what they’re looking for,” Ullman said, “other than in my discussions with them they were looking for a study hall with high-rise housing.”

As for the the accreditation issue, Ullman said Tartikov “has not applied to the village for relief from that requirement.”


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Read Comments (13)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Feb 01, 2009 at 12:54 PM Anonymous Says:

this is a big scam . Can anyone say low-cost housing.
It a sad situation but this is the type of stuff that fuels hatred in Ramapo. Yeah, I know that some in Ramapo are despicable anti-Semites and will hate regardless, but here is a situation that just makes secular jews and other otherwise tolerant people just wonder.

2

 Feb 01, 2009 at 12:30 PM Anonymous Says:

i smell a rat with tartikov . why do they not want to be accredited?

3

 Feb 01, 2009 at 02:03 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

this is a big scam . Can anyone say low-cost housing.
It a sad situation but this is the type of stuff that fuels hatred in Ramapo. Yeah, I know that some in Ramapo are despicable anti-Semites and will hate regardless, but here is a situation that just makes secular jews and other otherwise tolerant people just wonder.

This is not a scam, Tartikov does not ask for any special treatment, they are asking what everyone in USA has a right to ask, your smell doesn't matter here,
Btw, do you know Bernie Maddof?! did you smell scam on him, no, because how can you smell scam on secular Jews?!, you only smell scam on Hassidic Jews!

4

 Feb 01, 2009 at 02:37 PM Anonymous Says:

I'm a chussid in Ramapo and refuse to put up with this developement. They will claim tax exemptions and local social benefits all on our dime.

5

 Feb 01, 2009 at 03:35 PM Shaul in Monsey Says:

If they are claiming that the purpose is to create a rabbinical college to teach a ten year curriculum, then, yeah, its a scam.

And if they are using their religion as an excuse to profit by hiding behind the Torah as a means to increasing profit, then they will never see good from a dollar they invested.

6

 Feb 01, 2009 at 03:18 PM Anonymous Says:

Baloney! Stop the Affordable housing, let’s get back to normal life. They who developed land for the benefit of our community (Affordable housing) have congested our neighborhood and above all the “affordable” condominiums cost more than a single family house.

7

 Feb 01, 2009 at 03:14 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

This is not a scam, Tartikov does not ask for any special treatment, they are asking what everyone in USA has a right to ask, your smell doesn't matter here,
Btw, do you know Bernie Maddof?! did you smell scam on him, no, because how can you smell scam on secular Jews?!, you only smell scam on Hassidic Jews!

Oh I hadn't realized that everyone else in the USA asks for a 15yr "school"

8

 Feb 01, 2009 at 07:00 PM Anonymous Says:

go back to bklyn....

9

 Feb 01, 2009 at 06:03 PM monsey residents Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

Baloney! Stop the Affordable housing, let’s get back to normal life. They who developed land for the benefit of our community (Affordable housing) have congested our neighborhood and above all the “affordable” condominiums cost more than a single family house.

100% right. this is the point ! its not gona be affordebl. the shud say the "emes" the want to make money. ok ! stop with this toiros

10

 Feb 01, 2009 at 06:02 PM Charlie Hall Says:

The issue of accreditation is a big one. You need a formal degree program and approval by the State of New York, a process that takes years. There may well be grounds to challenge this.

11

 Feb 01, 2009 at 07:30 PM robroy560 Says:

I'm happy the village is standing up. No, I'm not anti-Chassidim. I want all Jews to get along. We lost the 2nd Beit HaMikdash for hating each other.

This story, if true, shows a backdoor way for the Tartikov to take over the village. They can litterally out vote the working people and transfer their wealth to them. Wealth transfer meaning those working, Jew or non-Jew, would be paying for this yeshiva to have 10-15 of 'rabbinical' education.

I call this a taxpayer fleecing to support an family kollel project.

12

 Feb 02, 2009 at 12:38 AM Anonymous Says:

If Michael Tauber wants to pull one of these non-profit schemes, that's his perogative.

My problem is - why drag the Jews into it ??? You need more anti-semitism?

It would have been the same if you paraded around some Indian guru (I can get you a few to play the part) who wants to start his own Study Hall/Ashram.

Same plans, Same Story - just not Jews -- Indian Mysticism instead.

Then get it passed, sell it to Chassidim and have your profits...

What you will have saved is you would have PREVENTED A CHILUL HASHEM - and several years of anti-frum sentiment among the local populace.

Michael, Paul - it's not too late - do it NOW!!!

13

 Feb 02, 2009 at 12:20 PM Monsey'er Says:

I know Michel Tauber well, this thing is 100% legit, pepole do not recognize that this Babad is a huge baal tzedukah, and his only intend is to be mechazik lomdei torah.

Its a shame that in todays day in age, no one belives the good will of their fellow jew!

14

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