Ohr Saadya
(formerly Etz Chaim)
A New Beginning

At the January 22, 2015 BofA Special Meeting, the application by Ohr Saadya was approved. It was scheduled to be memorialized at a future meeting. The memorializtion, appeared on the agenda for both the March and April regular meetings but not on May or June. Inexplicably the memorializtion, which should be routine has not taken place.

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Free public access to older Record articles was removed with the sale of the Record. The articles can still be accessed through the archives at $2.95 each - photos are extra.

Etz Chaim - The Next Chapter
(as of April 2012, Etz Chaim is now Ohr Saadya)

As a result of the application for a change of use and new variances, in about June or July 2014, the appeal was dismissed without prejudice.

A Brief of Amici Curiae Filed in Support of the Claimants dated February 24, 2014PYM

A Notice of Appeal was filed on October 10, 2013.

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Etz Chaim Variance

On Wednesday August 11, 2010 the Board of Adjustment approved the request to allow 554 Queen Anne Road to operate as a house of worship with various restrictions and conditions. After a postponement in September the resolution was memorialized at the October 7, 2010 meeting.

Planning & Zone Analysis Block 2409 Lot 8 - prepared by Kauker&Kauker 11/23/2009 presented at the 1/20/2009 hearing.

Trawinski to Ritvo on 8-31-2010 regarding resolution and comments


A "family room" was constructed at 554 Queen Anne and a CofO was issued by the township. It was immediately placed in use for religious services. A statement was sent to the Teaneck Construction Official and Zoning Officer, with copies to the Township Manager, the Township Council and the Board of Adjustment. It includes much of the history of the events leading up to the building of the "family room" and provides evidence that the intention was to use it as a house of worship as well as pictures showing it used as a house of worship:

Statement concerning use of "family room" as a house of worship - 07-22-2008

Prior to the sending of the above, the building department issued a CofO. This followed discovery of additional work performed without permits including the renovation of the basement (see pages 28 and 32 for descriptions). Also a zoning permit was applied for and issued (page 37) to retain the current path to the houses main entrance.

Certificate of Occupancy - 07-14-2008 and related documents

Included also is a Letter from Etz Chaim's lawyer to Construction Official/Zoning Officer on 06-20-2008, "memorializing the activities that take place" at 554

A meeting was held on May 28, 2008. The following includes a Letter from Etz Chaim's lawyer to Construction Official/Zoning Officer on 06-20-2008, "memorializing the activities that take place" at 554. The following also includes email correspondence relative to the final inspections and violations (see above work performed without permits).

Etz Chaim to Gluck - 06-20-2008

The town responded with an order to stop using it as a house of worship and outlining an appeal process:

Decision and Order from Mr. Gluck to Etz Chaim and Feldman - 08-08-2008

Etz Chaim appealed with:

Etz Chaim appeal - 08-26-2008

On 11-19-2008, the Construction Officer/Zoning Official sent a "follow up to the Decision and Order dated August 8, 2008". Despite OPRA requests, (including one in March of 2009) this was not provided till October of 2009 just before the scheduled variance hearing. 

Follow up to the Decision and Order - 11-19-2008

In addition to the above the following was also supplied to requestors in October of 2009 rather than is response to ealier OPRA requests. It includes a letter from  554's lawyer, stating it wishes to amend it's appeal request to include requesting a variance dated the day after the "follow up" letter.

Variance Correspondence 11-20-2009 to 02-19-2009

When it was noticed that the appeal was not being heard within the 120 days required by township ordinances, neighbors inquired and were informed that Etz Chaim had indicated that instead of going through an appeal process, Etz Chaim was going to apply for a variance. Etz Chaim applied for a zoning permit which was denied in March.

Application for Zoning Permit - 03-03-2009 and Denial - 03-06-2009

A second town denial in April included a list of required variances:

Refusal of Permit and list of required variances - 04-15-2009

A hearing was scheduled before the Board of Adjustment on October 14, 2009 and adjourned.

Public Notice of October 14 Hearing dated 09-29-2009 and documents related to the variance request. Includes 10-09-2009 letter announcing adjournment.

A letter was sent by Daniel Melfi, Zoning Official to Robert Erlich on December 17, 2009 (list of proposed spaces omitted):

Letter from Daniel Melfi to Robert Erlich - 12-17-2009

December 16th Flyer    
January 20th Flyer

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© 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 Tom Abbott