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VICTORY! Congregation Toras Chaim Free to

Continue Worship in Private Home

Judge grants summary judgment upholding the religious liberty rights of Liberty Institute client to peacefully study tenets of faith

Congregation Toras Chaim 

Liberty Institute Senior Counsel Justin Butterfield, Rabbi Yaakov Rich, and Liberty Institute General Counsel Jeff Mateer expressed gratitude outside the courthouse after the judge’s ruling.

Today, at a hearing on a motion for summary judgment, Collin County District Court Judge Jill Willis ruled that members of a small Orthodox Jewish community have a right to continue meeting in a Dallas, Texas home for private worship.  

The Homeowners Association (“HOA”) and a member of the HOA had brought a lawsuit attempting to ban Congregation Toras Chaim from peacefully meeting for prayer, worship, and study in a private home.  

Because the tenets of the Jewish faith instruct that Orthodox Jews may not drive or ride in a car on the Sabbath or on Jewish holidays, Congregation Toras Chaim members must meet to worship at a place within walking distance of their homes. 

Alleged harms offered as evidence by the HOA included one neighbor having to stop a vehicle for a woman pushing a baby carriage to cross the street—and another having to stop a vehicle so that a blind person could cross the street. 

“We are thankful that the District Court upheld this small Orthodox Jewish community's religious liberty rights,” said Justin Butterfield, Liberty Institute’s Senior Counsel and Director of Research and Education.  “We are grateful that these Jewish families will no longer be under attack for exercising their right to worship God according to the tenets of their faith.”

Rabbi Yaakov Rich, the leader of Congregation Toras Chaim, added:  “We are thankful that this distressing season has ended with a favorable ruling protecting our right to worship.  I am incredibly grateful that Liberty Institute and [volunteer attorneys] Haynes & Boone successfully defended our case and that the law has upheld our right to live out our faith in our homes.  I pray that today marks the beginning of a new era of tolerance and peace in our community.”

This victory was made possible because of friends like you.  With your continuing financial and prayer support, Liberty Institute is able to represent Congregation Toras Chaim and other houses of worship all across America today.  

So thank you for your ongoing support of this crucial effort to defend and restore religious liberty in our nation’s communities! 


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