[Hat Tip for the video: Joel Katz.]
Illegal Yeshiva Angers Ramapo Residents
Tony Aiello • CBS News 2
RAMAPO, N.Y. ― In the blink of an eye, it went from a quiet single-family home to a busy private school, and on Thursday a Rockland County town filed court papers seeking to shut down a Yeshiva that it claims opened illegally.
Two weeks ago the house at 97 Highview Rd. in Suffern was a single-family home, until one morning.
"All of a sudden it was a school," said Bob Stevens, who neighbors the home. "It's definitely illegal, a very serious situation."
Added neighbor Annette Doerr: "They haven't filed for the permits for a school, there's no sprinkler system. There's 65 little boys in a single family home."
Doerr said the pictures tell the story. Every weekday, buses pull up, dozens of boys get out and go into the house, which is now a Yeshiva – a school for Hasidic boys. It's also a source of frustration for nearby residents.
"They just moved in and started the school. They're disregarding the law, they're not supposed to be here as a school," said Doerr.
Building and fire inspectors visited the Yeshiva on Thursday. Ramapo town officials said the school opened illegally. The building doesn't have the required sprinkler system or emergency exits.
CBS 2 tried to ask Rabbi Samuel Gross why he opened the school without permits, but nobody inside the home would come to the door.
"They say they want to be good neighbors, but they're not gonna be. They can't be," said Stevens.
Highview Road is a busy thoroughfare with no shoulder for the school buses to stop on, so they pull into the narrow driveway, and sometimes get stuck.
"It's definitely disrupted our lives. It's noisy, it's not the right place for it," said Doerr.
The town of Ramapo has issued building violations and is taking steps to get an injunction to shut the school down. Neighbors want the school to learn a lesson about following the fire code and obeying the law.
Zoning law does allow a private school in a home, but only after a lengthy approval process and site review.