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Orthodox Jewish congregation sues city of Dallas over religious discrimination

May 10, 2018

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.

Dear Coach Kennedy,

I would like to say thank you. Your dedication to your faith and your commitment to the positive education of our youth is truly admirable. I am deeply grateful for your military service and for taking a courageous stance in protecting religious liberty rights for teachers and administrators.

If our First Amendment protects a player’s right to kneel in protest, it certainly protects your right to kneel in prayer.

I was shocked to learn that Bremerton High School suspended you after denying your request to continue your wholesome practice of giving thanks after football games.

The Bremerton School District’s actions violate the law and send the wrong message to coaches, young people, our communities, and our nation — a message of hostility to religious freedom and intolerance toward personal religious expression.

Please know that you are not alone in this difficult time — I support you and First Liberty as you continue to fight for religious freedom! Our schools need more coaches like you, our country needs more citizens like you, and our world needs more people like you.