Orthodox Jewish group sues Suffern for violating religious rights

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An Orthodox Jewish group is filing a lawsuit against the village of Suffern for violating its religious rights.

In question is a house on Hillcrest Road near Good Samaritan Hospital used by Orthodox Jews visiting the hospital on Fridays. Since their religion prevents them from driving after sundown, many stay at the house overnight. However, village officials say the area is zoned for single-family housing.

The Jewish group applied for a zoning variance, but was denied by the village. So it's filing a federal lawsuit, saying the village is violating a religious land use law. Village Attorney Terry Rice says the house is not a house of worship but rather a source of convenience for the group, saying people could walk or stay in a hotel instead.

The group is not seeking any money in the lawsuit, just the use of the house.

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