(JTA) — A winter resident of a predominantly Jewish condominium complex may not use a second condo to hold daily prayers, a Florida magistrate ruled.
Special Magistrate Carolyn Ansay ruled March 23 in West Palm Beach that Isaac Feder’s use of the condo in the Century Village complex for daily prayer services violated the zoning code. He has 30 days to stop holding prayer services in the condo or pay a $100 a day fine.
Residents of the complex had complained that Feder had turned his second condominium into a synagogue, the Palm Beach Post reported.
Many of the neighbors who packed the hearing room on March 23 were Jewish. They said the service-goers were disruptive and left their trash in public areas.
Feder, 64, said he used the second condo for services because two strokes made it difficult for him to get to a nearby Orthodox synagogue. In an effort to prove residency, he said he slept in the condo about two weeks out of the year and that his children and guests also used it.
Feder has returned to his other residence in Monroe, N.Y. His lawyer told the Palm Beach Post that he plans an appeal and could file a religious discrimination suit in federal court.