St. Louis Court Rules Against Attempt to Ban Erection of Synagogue

An attempt by a St. Louis suburb to prevent a Reform Congregation from erecting a temple was ruled unconstitutional yesterday by a circuit court judge in a decision hailed as a major victory in the struggle of religious congregations against restrictive zoning ordinances.

The ruling was made by Judge Raymond Ladriere in a suit against the City of Creve Coeur by Temple Israel, oldest Reform congregation in St. Louis, which asked the court to declare “discriminatory and unconstitutional” an action of the Creve Coeur board of aldermen who amended a zoning ordinance to prohibit the Temple from building on property it had purchased three years ago.

The local Catholic Archdiocese and the Protestant Metropolitan Church Federation filed briefs as friend of the court in support of Temple Israel. Leaders of all faiths described the decision as another legal precedent for the argument that constitutional freedom of worship includes freedom to build a house of worship. Similar decisions were made last year in cases of a Catholic parochial school in Brighton Township, a suburb of Rochester, N. Y. , and the Community Synagogue of Sands Point, L. I.

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