Tartikov Sues Town Of Ramapo


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According to the Journal News website, Tartikov Rabbinical College has filed a lawsuit against the town of Ramapo – denying a tax exemption and for seeking back taxes on its property. Congregation Rabbinical College of Tartikov states in the lawsuit that the taxable assessment of $597,500 was “erroneous and illegal” because the property “should be declared one hundred percent exempt.” Ramapo is seeking about $78,000 in taxes retroactive one year.

Its opinion did not consider whether Tartikov was entitled to an exemption as a religious corporation, but rather focused on a day camp operating on the 130-acre site in Pomona.

Because the camp collects fees from the campers and in turn pays Tartikov – $331,000 between 2005 and 2009 – the camp is run by a third party ineligible for an exemption, Ramapo Assessor Scott Shedler said.

Journal News


  1. I think the best way to get Pomona/ Ramapo to let the yeshiva be built is to sue them. lol.

    in all seriousness though;this may not be a reason to lose a tax exemption(public schools in the town of ramapo have summer camps on them, and are still considered schools), but the yeshiva of tartikov is perceived to be not much more than a private building development that will break/ bypass local zoning, and avoid paying applicable taxes. Oh did i mention that there will be a yeshiva nearby?

    noone knows the truth(who really will rake it in on this project) but taxes are sure to loose out if this goes through. someone is just trying to recoup a drop of that tax revenue.

    may the best man win!!!

  2. Tartikov has no experience running a camp — or a college for that matter. Their only experience is in running high density housing projects.

    Pomona already has more than 50 tax exempt properties, the vast majority religious use, and the majority of the religious use are of the Jewish faith. Where is the discrimination? It’s in the discriminating eye the baBAD family used in picking a community of around 3,000 to house its high density housing for 5,000. If they have a profit motive, they should pay taxes.

  3. Hey, sammygol, Tartikov making a chillul hashem? NOT. Following the laws of the USA is not called making a chillul hashem. They are using the same laws that benefit churches and other religious organizations to benefit thier yeshiva. And don’t start telling us that they don’t have a yeshiva. That may be true, but it is irrelevant. In the USA one may legally plan to open a yehiva and build a yeshiva without having the yeshiva first. So what in the world are they doing wrong? Except maybe you are an anti-Chosid to begin with and you are the one making the Chillul hashem because you are afraid of having Chasidim in your backyard!

  4. Mr. MiMedinat Hayam; A yeshiva is not obligated to bring revenue into the town or the townspeople! What in the world are you talking about?!! Maybe there is such a requirement in Medinat Hayam (where is that? Alegeria?) but not here in the good ol USA!

  5. I don’t know what you’re talking about MichaelR. Just because it MAY technically be legal doesn’t make it not a chillul hashem.

    RavHamachshir? What on earth are you talking about?

  6. “…don’t start telling us that they don’t have a yeshiva. That may be true, but it is irrelevant.” How exactly is that IRRELEVANT? That is precisely the point. You cant claim you are a nonprofit religious organizations and expect to recieve benefits as such, if you are NOT a tax exempt organization. Just b/c they might “intend” to become one, doesnt mean that they have any right to not pay taxes at the current moment. Lets call a spade a spade here. This is not a “religious discrimination” at all. This isnt about a “yeshiva,” that a town is trying to tax unfairly or illegally. This is a town, and not a goyishe town, but a town filled with many FRUM, many of whom are used to having lots of space, beautiful yards, and nice homes (thats why alot of people CHOOSE to live out there, and not in brooklyn). The zonings laws are set up so that the town STAYS spacious. Why should a bunch of people looking for cheap housing “ruin” that for them, moreover, why should we criticize “them” for wanting to maintain the lifestyle they are accustomed to? Why cant Tartikov do what Vishnitz or Satmar did? That seemed to work out wonderfully for them, and there cetainly are not hordes of people (Jewish people at that) voicing objections to what theyre building, where theyre building it, or how.

  7. house77 – Do not fear. KJ has more than its fair share of self-hating Jews opposed to it or any expansion. Self-hating Jews can be located anywhere where there is a Jew, Tartikov not excepted.

  8. to michaelr:

    i’m posing it as a pr gimmick.

    there are numerous jewish coomunities (such as in northern and central jersey) where the establishment of a yeshiva or the rejuvination (or reJEWvenation) of a “dying” shul has led to the economic rennaissance of the community / town.

    if tartikov expresses it this way, perhaps it will win. pr-wise

  9. Maybe there is such a requirement in Medinat Hayam (where is that? Alegeria?) but not here in the good ol USA!

    dont you remember what the meshech chochma about what will happen since they “call Berlin yerushalaim.” (he predicted a holocaust of some form or fashion to come out of Berlin. incidentally berlin is tyhe capital of Germany, and therefore naziissim)

    calling medinat hayam everywhere except USA is very similar….

  10. I agree with post 17 the link in 15 should be removed.

    pomona has just hired high power lawyers to fight the building of this Yeshiva. when asked how much will the lawyers fees amount to, the mayor refused to answer the question. the mayor of pomona is spending public money and will not say how he is spending it or how much he is spending. Such Arrogance!!! I thought the “preserve(keep-Yeshivas-and-Shuls-except-mine-out-of)ramapo” crowd was very concerned about tax $$$ – i would have assumed the concern was for tax revenue AND expenditures.

    re: self hating Jews???: before anyone associates with preseve…ramapo, they should read the letters to the press that their members send in. the refernces to “those people” and “enough Synagogues/Yeshivas already” are enlightening. I do not call the Jews in preserve…ramapo self haters. I do, however, have questions about why they choose to associate themselves with those people that are seemingly anti-semitic based on their comments. If you really do not want to have anymore Shuls and Yeshivas in the community in which you chose to live, start your own group – call it Jews who Love Jews but are against building Shuls and Yeshivas(except mine).

    b/t/w Ramapo was rated 49 in the top places to live in America (2006 money magazine rating). I think that this is fantastic – thousands and thousands and so on of towns all over America and we came in 49. WOW! what are all these pres..ramapo people concerned about – I think that we are doing pretty good.

  11. to RavHamachshir– my “screen name “MiMedinat HaYam” refers to my looking at the situation as an outsider. not to where i’m from (originally boro park and flatbush). or where i’m at. but my comment stands. the “approach” is wrong, pr wise. without commenting on the propriety of a yeshiva there or not.

    by the way, its not from the meshech chochma (but prob he repeated it). historically, places called yerushalayim were soon destryoed — djerba (ezra hasofer put a curse on the levi’im living there cause they refused to return to rebuild the bet hamikdash, “we have our own yerushalayim” they said; the leviim died out within a year; to this day no leviim live there, except one levi who has a seforim gesheft (whoops! must use sefardi terminology), who leaves the country one week a year; the shul in djerba, which was attacked by al queda a few years ago (only german tourists were kiled / hurt) a few days after rosh hashana (al queda doesnt know the sod ha’ibur that “lo adu rosh” hashana and attacked on the wrong day) has a wall they claim comes from bayit rishon.

    “vermayza” also claimed to be a yerushalyim, they were destroyed by the crusades; vilna was called “yerushalayim de’lita”, we know what the nazis did there.

    i dont know of berlin being a yerushalayim, esp in the time of the meshech chochma — it was already a city of little torah by then, but …

  12. FIRST OF ALL – why are people YIDDIN fighting? It is innevitable that when you buy a house out of town, in subburbia, many more houses will be built, especially in an area such as Monsey or Pomona.
    SECOND OF ALL – the same property was owned by another Yeshiva who wasn’t interested in going through the difficulty of trying to a similar project on a slightly smaller scale.
    THIRD – property value will go up for everyone in the neighborhood.
    FOURTH – Halachikly even in the time of the Beis Hamikdosh – Talmidei Chachomim (Klei Kodesh)- were exempt from certain taxation. A Yeshiva or Chasidik orginization needs a way to support itself and by setting up a quote unquote “College” and “Student housing” and still they will need support from within and it will still be a “NON-PROFIT” orginization.
    Fifth – Besides for the local townspeople many of whom are against any type of building happening on the site, there are unfortunately a few from Inzerer that are protesting. I wonder what would happen if someone opened a milk farm with hudreds of Cholov Yisroel cows grazing, with a stench that would be permiate the air for a mile or 2?
    SIXTH – When your neighbor builds a shul on a larger property than yours or enlarges their yeshiva or dormitory and their building is still 150 t0 200 feet away from your home perhaps with a street in between, with a buffer of a small wooded area, fence or shrubbery, do you think that it is correct to protest in town hall or on the internet?

  13. MiMedinat HaYam;
    thanks for the history lesson(seriously), but my comment was to MichaelR, who seemed to say that Monsey was not part of medinat hayam.

    you seem to say that the student housing is a form of income for the yeshiva(correct me if i am wrong).
    if that is true, then it really is the scam that everyone thinks it is(tartikov would respectfully differ and say that the housing is integral to the actual running of the (not yet existent?) yeshiva)

  14. I have never heard or seen anyone from Preserve Ramapo say or publish a word that is anti-semitic or derogatory toward anyone of the Jewish faith. I have written many letters to the editor of the local paper in support of Pomona’s right to establish and uphold our zoning laws. No one cares how the Chasidik people dress, how they worship, or where they live. What we do care about is the rule of law, and the right of a village to establish a plan that includes zoning that restricts property usage to what fits the plan. We already have over 50 tax exempt properties in our small community, and don’t have the infrastructure to support, or the tax dollars to pay for over 5,000 non-productive, not-tax paying residents. It is a matter of reality. I recommended to the baBADs and Mr. Tauber that they build a Rabbinical College on the property, without the housing. I don’t think anyone would oppose this. The “students” are all local anyway and can be bussed in. But since they paid $12 million for an $8 million dollar property, he thinks he needs housing on it. With Pomona straddling both Ramapo and HAverstraw towns, he has managed to widen Preserve Ramapo’s support and ensure that the existing town board in Ramapo is voted out and replaced with a new one in the next election.

    Since you are all so enlightened, why don’t you name one other Rabbinical college in the world that has a 15 year course of study. I await your responses.

    I use my name in everything I post, and stand behind my words. You can call me any name you choose, but know nothing of who I am or what I am. I invite any of you to contact me off of this topic and make arrangements to meet me for breakfast in the establishment of your choice (in the local area please. Especially one of you self-hating Jews who view the world as out to get you. We can split the bill and have a great conversation about life.

    Bob Prol

  15. Mr. Prol,

    Thank you for your measured comments, but please allow me to point out a few that may prove problematic to some Jews.

    In comment #4 you wrote, “Pomona already has more than 50 tax exempt properties, the vast majority religious use, and the majority of the religious use are of the Jewish faith. Where is the discrimination? It’s in the discriminating eye the baBAD family used in picking a community of around 3,000 to house its high density housing for 5,000.”

    Pointing out such “facts” as to the demographics of certain groups, ie non-taxpayers, is similar to when people point out the demographics of the prison population. When not put in any context, it can besmirch entire groups. Furthermore, your capitalization of only the “bad” part of the developer’s surname attempts to impugn his integrity. Finally, calling student housing “high density” reminds all readers that many of these potential residents will be coming from the very urban environments that people moved to Rockland County to escape.

    to be continued

  16. Mr. Prol,

    In comment # 24 you spend some time extolling “the rule of law,” without acknowledging the hierchical nature of that law. In other words, the same zoning laws you value recognize the supremacy of federal laws. As such, zoning laws must be consistent with RLUIPA, and when they aren’t, as here, RLUIPA takes precedence. You then slur the Tartikovers as being “non-productive.” Just because you don’t value the spirituality that they produce does not make them non-productive. You conclude your ill-fated paragraph by once again mocking the developer’s name.

    I sincerely hope that calm reflection of my points might persuade you as to how a historically oppressed people could reasonable take umbrage at your rhetorical style.

  17. Mr. Noname,

    Thanks for responding. So we aren’t allowed to debate using facts? At least have the integrity and conviction to use your name. (Unless of course your name is “noname”, in which case I apologize for besmirching your family name.)

    To the other readers of this discussion – I attended the “open house” the high density housing developers staged in Nanuet. From a resource standpoint, this “college” is no different than a very large scale condominium complex. Having 5,000 people flush their toilets into a system that already requires over $50 million in upgrades and repairs to support present usage is a bad idea. Calling the toilet flushers “students” does nothing to decrease the volume of excrement. Everyone will suffer if this high density housing goes through – and it is high density housing.

    Also, if the students are full time, they WON’T be paying taxes. It is more likely that they will be collecting taxes from the rest of us in the form of public assistance. Telling people that we shouldn’t say this doesn’t change the underlying facts, and calling someone anti-semitic for saying this still doesn’t change the facts.

    Just as the First Amendment protects freedom of religion, it protects my freedom of speech and my right to ask my government for redress of my grievances.

    Good point on the punctuation of the baBAD’s name. The attorneys for the developers have called Pomona residents gentrified, and against any Jews moving in. They’ve named people in the lawsuit who aren’t elected, not named as plaintiffs, and were exercising their free speech. This tactic appears aimed at intimidating the locals from exercising their free speech. As soon as this developer and their hired lawyers stop throwing baseless accusations at the local population, I’ll try to unstick the keys on my keyboard.

    Edited: Please refrain from using any foul language.

  18. Calling the toilet flushers “students” does nothing to decrease the volume of excrement.

    Mr. Prol,
    Calling the students “toilet flushers” leads me to believe that you aren’t interested in an honorable exchange of ideas; rather you just wish to vilify the “Other.” I hope that Jews reading your comments who might otherwise be sympathetic to your views also consider the intensity of your invective when deciding which side of the debate to support. I, on the other hand, see no point in continuing this discussion with you. Best of luck.

  19. It’s been interesting trying to have a discussion surrounding the issues we are all facing. I keep coming across people like Noname who hides behind anonymity, and when confronted with indisputable facts just dismisses the argument as being beneath his high-browed view of the issue. This is too bad, because as I started out stating – you don’t know me or what I am. The sad thing is that Noname has nothing to lose but his biases yet he takes his anonimity and self-serving views and hides behind his keyboard.

    Want an off-topic discussion? Send me an e-mail at my personal account – rprol at hotmail dot com.

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