An Orthodox Jewish congregation in Texas was taken to court over its right to meet in a private home that is part of a Home Owner’s Association (HOA). The Blaze reports that the dispute began in 2013; after two years of legal proceedings, a judge has ruled that the congregation can meet in the home.
HOA president David Schneider brought the complaint against the Jewish group. Schneider argued that the meetings could make parking in the neighborhood difficult and cause property values to drop.
The whole congregation of 20 to 30 people meets in the Highlands of McKamy neighborhood home on Friday and Saturday nights. In addition, groups of about 12 people people meet at the house three times per day for prayer.
After the judge’s ruling, Schneider said, “What this means is any church can move into any derestricted neighborhood in the entire state of Texas, regardless of any agreements that are made.”
Rabbi Rich Yaakov told a local TV station that he is pleased with the outcome of the lawsuit.
“We are thankful that this distressing season has ended with a favorable ruling, protecting our right to worship. I am incredibly grateful that Liberty Institute successfully defended our case, and that the law has upheld our right to live out our faith within our homes,” he said.
“I pray that today marks the beginning of a new era of tolerance and peace in our community.”
Publication date: February 5, 2015