Congregation Toras Chaim has spent about five years in a legal battle with the city of Dallas over parking ordinances. The city is refusing to give the synagogue a variance to a law on how many parking spaces it’s required to have – even though the Orthodox congregation does not drive on days when the building is at maximum capacity.
Now the congregation is fighting back, filing a lawsuit of its own and accusing the city of infringing on its religious freedom.
What’s the story?
Congregation Toras Chaim is located in a residential area in Far North Dallas. This is not unusual for a Jewish congregation. Because of laws regarding the Sabbath, Orthodox Jews are not allowed to drive, ride in a car, or walk more than a set distance on Saturday, so their meeting places need to be within their own neighborhoods.
According to the congregation’s lawsuit, 25 congregants regularly gather there on Saturdays, while a smaller number gathers there throughout the week.