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

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Media / Press

Patricia Harris - The Alternative Press

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

 

MILLBURN, NJ – A trustee of an organization opposed to the building of a synagogue at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Old Short Hills Road went on record last night with the group’s objections.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

BY LINDSEY KELLEHER OF THE ITEM

The Item of Millburn and Short Hills

 

An attorney for Rabbi Mendel Bogomilsky filed a motion on Friday, Sept. 2, to dismiss a complaint made by the Millburn Township Committee's attorney this past summer to review a 2009 court settlement between the township and Bogomilsky, his wife and the Chai Center for Living Judaism.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

BY LINDSEY KELLEHER

The Item of Millburn and Short Hills

 

Concluding his testimony during the Sept. 26 Millburn Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting, planner Paul Gleitz argued that constructing a synagogue on the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Old Short Hills Road will not have any substantial negative impacts on the surrounding neighborhood.

Christy Potter Kass - The Alternative Press

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

 

MILLBURN, NJ --The size of the front yard of the proposed Chai Center and the yards of the neighboring homes were brought under the Millburn Zoning Board’s microscope during a hearing Monday night.

Chai Center plan requires yard variance

Wednesday, August 24, 2011
BY LINDSEY KELLEHER
The Item of Millburn and Short Hills

 

The Millburn Zoning Board of Adjustment upheld the appeal made by the Concerned Neighborhood Association about the township zoning officer's decision regarding front yard setback involving the revised site plan application for the proposed Chai Center of Living Judaism during its Aug. 22 meeting.

Township of Millburn Files Suit Against Chai Center and Rabbi Bogomilsky;
Seeks Nullification of 2009 Settlement and Injunction

Patricia Harris
Thursday, August 18 2011
The Alternative Press
http://thealternativepress.com/articles/township-of-millburn-files-suit-against-chai-cente--2

 

MILLBURN, NJ - The Township of Millburn has filed a lawsuit against Rabbi Bogomilsky, his wife, Rivkah, and the synagogue he leads, the Chai Center of Millburn-Short Hills, for breach of contract.

 

The complaint brought in Superior Court on July 8 asks that a settlement reached in 2009 between the township and the rabbi and his wife, Rivkah, be nullified and an injunction issued restraining the use of a property at 1 Jefferson Avenue as a house of worship.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

HARRY TRUMBORE,  THE ITEM

 

The Millburn Township Committee is taking action to review a 2009 court settlement with Rabbi Mendel Bogomilsky and his wife and the Chai Center for Living Judaism.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

BY LINDSEY KELLEHER

The Item of Millburn and Short Hills

 

Paul Gleitz, planner for the proposed synagogue on the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Old Short Hills Road, testified during the June 27 Millburn Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting that his client would not require a parking variance for the site since the requirement has been met for providing one parking space for every three seats in the house of worship.

TheAlternativePress.com

by Elizabeth A. Leonard Tuesday, June 28 2011

 

MILLBURN, NJ -- The Millburn Zoning Board of Adjustment continued its hearings of the Chai Center during Monday’s meeting. The Chai Center has proposed the construction of a house of worship at 1-7 Jefferson Avenue in Short Hills. The meetings in regard to this application have gone on for several months and have provoked serious opposition from many of the residents of Millburn/Short Hills, chiefly Mr. and Mrs. Gambino whose property neighbors the site and The Concerned Neighborhood Association of Millburn Township, Inc.

 

Millburn Concerned Citizens issue
statement on lawsuit settlement

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Patricia C. Kelley/The Independent Press

 

MILLBURN – Short Hills resident James O. Welch, a trustee with the Concerned Neighborhood Association of Millburn Township, has issued a statement in response to Mayor Sandra Haimoff’s announcement that the courts are being asked to review a 2009 settlement with Rabbi Mendel Bogomilsky that forgave $499,000 in fines for alleged zoning violations and put limits on the size and scope of the Chai Center for Living Judaism’s religious activities while Bogomilsky is awaiting zoning approval on a new site.

 

This is the text of Welch’s statement:

 

“Based on Millburn Mayor Sandra Haimoff’s statement read last night at the Township Meeting, our group feels that allowing a new judicial review by the Essex County Court judge will end with a ruling in our favor. Our group and many residents believe that The Chai Center has violated the settlement agreement with the township that was dated July 7, 2009. The settlement excused $499,000 in previous fines in return for The Chai Center agreeing to terms they have violated.”

Bogomilsky has not yet responded to our request for a comment.

 

Christy Potter Kass, reporter for the Millburn-Short Hills Patch,

published this after the June 21st Township meeting

 

Mayor Sandra Haimoff said the township committee has been asked by The Concerned Neighborhood Association to review the township’s lawsuit against Rabbi Mendel Bogomilsky. The suit was settled more than a year ago, and the rabbi filed an application for the center to construct a new synagogue at the corner of Old Short Hills Road and Jefferson Avenue. Since then, Bogomilsky, lawyers for both sides, and various experts have been testifying before the zoning board. Haimoff said the township committee’s legal counsel has advised the board can revisit the lawsuit, but she said this action should in no way be construed as the township committee having taken sides, or that it will interfere with the zoning board proceedings.

 

Millburn asks court to re-examine rabbi settlement

Published: Wednesday, June 22, 2011, 9:40 AM

By Patricia C. Kelley/The Independent Press

MILLBURN -- Millburn officials are asking the courts to review a 2009 settlement with Rabbi Mendel Bogomilsky that forgave $499,000 in fines for alleged zoning violations and put limits on the size and scope of the Chai Center for Living Judaism’s religious activities while Bogomilsky is awaiting zoning approval on a new site.

 

Mayor Sandy Haimoff read a brief statement at the June 21 Township Committee session in which she said that following an April request from two members of the Concerned Neighborhood Association of Millburn Township (CNAMT) town officials have decided to authorize a review by the court of the settlement. Haimoff said this action should not be seen as an indication of the Township Committee’s support of either side in the matter.

 

On advice of the township attorney, Haimoff later said she could not provide any additional information about the request.

 

In April, James Welch and Robert Sanna, Bogomilsky’s neighbors and trustees of the CNAMT, came before the township’s governing body and claimed that Bogomilsky is in violation of the 2009 settlement and asked officials to revoke the settlement. Welch and Sanna oppose Bogomilsky’s plans to build a 16,350 square-foot religious facility on Jefferson Avenue in Short Hills and they contend he is in violation of the earlier settlement so he should therefore be required to pay the waived fines.

 

Bogomilsky’s attorneys responded that there was no legal or factual basis for the request to rescind the settlement agreement and any attempts to do so would “face vigorous opposition.”

 

According to Bogomilsky’s attorney Philip Pfeffer, the fines were “falsely manufactured” and were imposed to “punish” the rabbi and his wife “for exercising their constitutionally protected rights to host prayer meetings in their home and to deter them from doing so in the future.”

 

The Independent Press is reaching out to both sides for comments and will print them as they come in.

Below are four stories from local news services. These were published after the most recent May 2nd Millburn Zoning Board of Adjustment hearing regarding The Chai Center and their attempt to have variances overturned.


Both sides in synagogue dispute prepare for zoning board meeting

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

BY HARRY TRUMBORE

The Item of Millburn and Short Hills

 

A neighborhood association opposed to proposed plans for a synagogue at the intersection of Old Short Hills Road and Jefferson Avenue has asked the Township Committee to reconsider its settlement with the shul's rabbi, Mendel Bogomilsky, and collect the almost half a million dollars in municipal fines it forgave as part of the settlement.


Group Wants Township to Enforce Zoning Law

Concerned Citizens Group Read Letter to Township Committee regarding Chai Center

 

By Laura Griffin April 21, 2011

Millburn-Short Hills Patch

 

Trustees from the Concerned Neighborhood Association of Millburn Township, read a letter to the board of adjustment outlining the group’s position that Chai Center for Jewish Living’s continues to violate zoning laws.


Rabbi’s Short Hills neighbors want him to pay up

Published: Friday, April 22, 2011, 7:30 AM

 

By Patricia C. Kelley/The Independent Press Independent Press

 

MILLBURN –Members of a local activist group want the township to revoke a 2009 settlement made with a Short Hills rabbi that they say forgave $499,000 in fines for alleged zoning violations and put limits on the size and scope of his religious activities while awaiting zoning approval on a new site.

 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

BY LAURA D'ONOFRIO

The Item of Millburn and Short Hills

The site planner for the Chai Center of Living Judaism, Paul Gleitz, was in the hot seat as he faced his first cross examination at the Feb. 7 Millburn Zoning Board meeting. It was the ninth hearing for the Chai Center, a synagogue headed by Rabbi Mendel Bogomilsky. The rabbi hopes to demolish two single family homes at 1 and 7 Jefferson Avenue and construct a 16,350 sq. ft. orthodox shul in the residential neighborhood


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

BY LAURA D'ONOFRIO

The Item of Millburn and Short Hills

 

The Millburn Zoning Board of Adjustment heard from two experts regarding Rabbi Mendel Bogomilsky's ongoing case to knock down two single family homes at 1 and 7 Jefferson Avenue and build a 16,350 total square foot orthodox synagogue.

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