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Chabad Wins 10-Year Battle to Build Shul in Litchfield

From the Register-Citizen:

It’s been nearly 10 years since Chabad Lubavitch of Litchfield County filed a federal lawsuit against the Litchfield Borough’s Historic District Commission, claming religious discrimination under federal law.

This week, Judge Janet C. Hall of U.S. District Court in New Haven ruled that Chabad can build a modified version of its plan for 85 West St., and ordered the borough’s Historic District Commission to approve that plan. Now the Chabad has a month to present it and the commission has a month to approve it.

In a written statement, the Chabad’s leader, Rabbi Joseph Eisenbach, said he was celebrating the judge’s ruling.

“Chabad is celebrating a ruling by Judge Janet C. Hall that will enable Chabad to convert a 2,656-square-foot Victorian at 85 West St. which it acquired in 2005 into a synagogue – a plan the Historic District Commission turned down in 2007,” he wrote.

“On the one hand there is great joy that after a 10-year struggle we can move forward with our synagogue,” he said. “At the same time, I sadly witnessed the most serious religious bias from a very small percent of the Litchfield Community which destroyed 10 years of great blessings of a Synagogue. Thankfully, they don’t represent the overwhelming majority of the great citizens of our town. We are blessed that G-D and good have prevailed. I look forward to inviting all of our neighbors from all walks of life to our synagogue ground breaking this spring in a spirit of tolerance and true brotherhood with our Litchfield community.”

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