Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Rabbi of Brooklyn-based Movement Wins Appeal to Conduct Worship

MAINE (AP) -- A rabbi who is part of a Brooklyn-based Hasidic sect can continue to hold prayer services at his home in Portland, Maine. The city zoning board reversed its recent ruling that barred his weekly meetings on grounds that they ran afoul of zoning regulations.

By a 5-0 vote, the Zoning Board of Appeals late agreed to allow Rabbi Moshe Wilansky to host Saturday worship sessions that drew complaints from a neighbor over parking issues.

Wilansky, a member of the Crown Heights-based Chabad Lubavitch movement, has been hosting the meetings for years. They draw about 15 worshippers, most of whom either walk or get a ride. Wilansky said the sessions draw only five or six cars.

Rejecting the suggestion that Wilansky's home was a synagogue, members of the appeals panel said the rabbi pays taxes on the property, has no sign outside that advertises the services and does not hold religious services such as weddings at the site.

Source: Brooklyn Daily Eagle

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