Press Releases

Federal Judge Allows Lawsuit Against Village of Airmont, NY, Local School District to Move Forward

January 24, 2020

Press Statement
For Immediate Release: 1.24.20
Contact: Lacey McNiel,
Direct: 972-941-4453

First Liberty Institute lawsuit alleges Village unlawfully denied local Jewish school use of its own property for religious purposes

Airmont, NY—United States District Court Judge Vincent Briccetti has released his opinion allowing a lawsuit filed by First Liberty Institute and Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP on behalf of an Orthodox Jewish day school, Central UTA of Monsey, against the Villiage of Airmont, NY and the Suffern Central School District to move forward.

“Our clients are thrilled that they will get their day in court,” said Keisha Russell, Counsel for First Liberty Institute. “We are pleased that the judge dismissed the effort by both the Village of Airmont and the Suffern School District to avoid accountability for their discriminatory actions.”

In denying motions to dismiss the lawsuit, Judge Briccetti concluded that Central UTA’s claims that both the Suffern Central School District and the Villiage of Airmont violated federal law can move forward to trial. The judge is also allowing claims of conspiracy to move forward.

The lawsuit, filed in November 2018, alleges that government officials in the Village of Airmont, New York and the Suffern Central School District engaged in a deliberate effort to dissuade Orthodox Jewish residents from staying in or moving to the Village of Airmont. Central UTA owns 21 acres of property within the Village of Airmont that for nearly 20 years served as both a children’s school and day camp. The Village granted multiple approvals for the private, non-Orthodox school to operate. However, since Central UTA purchased the property in 2016 and advised the Village of its plans to build new buildings, Village officials have repeatedly used discriminatory zoning tactics to prevent Central UTA from operating.

In a similar effort, the local school district, Suffern Central, denied Central UTA children transportation and special education services even though it provided these same services to the previous school.

The judge’s opinion can be viewed here.

A separate lawsuit against the Villiage of Airmont for religious discrimination against Orthodox Jewish residents is still pending.

Learn more about this case.

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About First Liberty Institute

First Liberty Institute is the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.

To arrange an interview, contact Lacey McNiel at or by calling 972-941-4453.

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