This proposed 16,350 square foot house of worship would require
65% more land than owned to meet the legal requirements.
The structure would be too big, too high, too wide, too close to neighbors,
and without a major variance, would not be legal.

Contributions can be made to:

Connell Foley LLP

Attorney Trust Account
Please mail check to:

Connell Foley LLP

85 Livingston Avenue

Roseland NJ 07068,

Attn: Kevin J. Coakley

(Funds only distributed with consent

of the Association's trustees)

Calendar of Events

Last month April 2017 Next month
week 13 1
week 14 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
week 15 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
week 16 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
week 17 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
week 18 30
News about Chai Center March 23, 2014

New developments regarding the Chai Center’s

religious and cultural building located at

the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Old Short Hills Road:

A deed, from 1949, has been ruled authentic

and enforceable by a Superior Court Judge.

The deed does not allow for anything

but a private home at this location.


March 23, 2014

Millburn/Short Hills New Jersey


Years ago two deeds were written that did not allow for anything but private homes in the area where The Chai Center currently operates. This deed would have been in the title search when the Center originally bought the property.


One deed dates back to 1899 and recently a Superior  Court Judge was asked to review the deeds. The Judge did not enforce the 1899 deed finding it ambiguous. But another deed, dated 1949, was ruled to be enforceable meaning that only private homes may be built on the lot where The Chai Center operates.


Given this ruling, The Chai Center may file an appeal but they must submit that within a 45-day period. If the ruling of the Superior Court is upheld, the expensive zoning dispute and litigation related to it would be moot.


Below is a quick review on what has happened with the original variance application since The Chai Center had its variance requests turned down by the Millburn Zoning Board back in 2012.


Feb 14, 2012 -  The Chai Center was turned down by the Millburn Township Zoning Board in their request for relief from multiple variances in order to build an oversize structure on an undersized property at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Old Short Hills Road.


The Chai Center takes legal action to have the Zoning Board decision overturned concentrating on the difference in requirements between schools (2 acres) and Houses of Worship (3 acres).


May 31, 2013 - the Court invalidates the minimum lot size and parking requirements allowing Schools and Houses of Worship to be different or basically ruling against the Township.


December 17, 2013 - The Township introduces a new ordinance amending the provisions of the Land Development Ordinance revising the conditions for the conditional uses of Schools and Houses or Worship in the Township (both now require a minimum of three acres) and to adjust parking requirements for places of assembly, Schools and Houses of Worship consistent with current planning standards.


January 8, 2014 - The Township asked for reconsideration of the May 31, 2013 decision based on the new ordinance corrections. The Court did not grant reconsideration but also did not allow The Chai Center the option of going back to the Board of Adjustment. Instead the Court asked that both parties attend a hearing regarding the amended Ordinance on March 21, 2014 but then the Court decided to adjourn the argument for that date without setting a new specific date.


Millburn/Short Hills is a dynamic thriving diverse community of people striving to raise families in a lovely residential area. The Township is fulfilling their obligation in defending zoning rules so as not to change the complexion of the community in which we all have a stake.


SAVE MILLBURN is the name for the local, registered, non-profit group,

The Concerned Neighborhood Association of Millburn Township, Inc. 2014 or write:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



Meeting Summaries

A summary of the most recent hearing and all others to date.
Also going to the Media/Press section will give you other details.

Recent Meeting
Photo: September 26, 2011 - Millburn Zoning Board of Adjustment Chairman Joseph Steinberg (arms crossed) listening to The Chai Center lawyer and his client Rabbi Mendel Bogomilsky.

Remember to forward this website address,, to local neighbors and friends in town so they become aware of the issue and the meetings on this issue. Also if you go to the Media/Press section above, you can read a summary of the different meetings held to date. Also see the YouTube videos below.




Photo: Zoning Board of Adjustment hearing, 8:45pm, October 25, 2010, Millburn Town Hall
  • Millburn zoning allows a house of worship to be built in a residential area but requires it to be on a minimum  of  three 3 acres.
  • The Chai Center group has only 1.815 acres of the required 3 acres even after combining their properties at number 1 and 7 Jefferson Avenue (corner lot facing Old Short Hills Road).
  • The Chai Center is asking that the height of the structure be allowed to go above town approved height of 32 feet.
  • The Chai Center proposes many of the 48 car parking spaces be allowed to be closer to neighbors properties than the required 50-foot buffer.
  • The Chai Center proposes that entrances/exits be added on Old Short Hills Road which is already heavy with traffic and is the main thoroughfare for ambulances to and from St. Barnabas Hospital.
  • The Chai Center proposes large signage or identification on Old Short Hills Road.
  • The Chai Center wants to have a screened dumpster enclosure, an underground storage facility for storm water, fences, walkways and extensive landscaping.
  • The Chai Center, in deference to local area, will build the large structure to look like existing Dutch Colonial homes in the area.
  • The Chai Center is currently conducting services and holding classes with many cars parking on the front yard, back yard and on neighboring streets.

Save Millburn is the name for the local, registered, non-profit group,
The Concerned Neighborhood Association of Millburn Township, Inc. - Email