Bill Introduced to Bar Suits Against Synagogues in Residential Buildings

An Aguda MK introduced a bill in the Knesset yesterday that would bar law suits against synagogues located in residential buildings. The measure, proposed by Yehuda Meir Abramowitz, stemmed from a recent case before a Tel Aviv magistrates court where a tenant group complained that the noise of prayers in a synagogue on the premises constituted a “public nuisance.” The judge ordered the congregation to desist from further use of the flat as a prayer hall.

Abramowitz said “there are hundreds of congregations throughout the country which because of lack of sufficient funds had no choice but to rent quarters in residential buildings.” He said that very often the landlords, seeking higher rentals, sued the congregations on charges of disturbing other tenants.

According to Abramowitz, his bill would result in greater efforts by both sides to settle disputes amicably. If adopted it would only protect congregations that rent a flat with the stated intention of establishing a synagogue, not those which rent promises for residential purposes and subsequently turn them into a prayer hall.

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