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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.

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