Quebec court evicts Hasidic Jews from homes over bylaw violations
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Quebec court evicts Hasidic Jews from homes over bylaw violations

Local mayor denies claims of anti-Semitism made by some members of ultra-Orthodox group, says they must leave for breaching zoning laws

The Satmar Hasidic village of Kiryas Joel. (JTA/Uriel Heilman)
The Satmar Hasidic village of Kiryas Joel. (JTA/Uriel Heilman)

A Quebec court on Sunday ordered a group of Hasidic Jews to leave their summer homes by the end of the month for violating zoning laws by using a residence as a place of worship.

The decision came amid complaints from local residents of late-night disturbances from the group.

The Quebec Superior Court ruled that the approximately 50 Hasidim living in the town of Ste-Agathe-des-Monts, 60 miles north of Montreal, must leave by July 26.

Town Mayor Denis Chalifoux told local media that the group was taken to the Quebec Superior Court because they were using the residence as a place of worship, which is in violation of local zoning laws.

There were also complaints from the town that the group hold rowdy gatherings until 2 a.m., and fail to keep properties according to the cleanliness standard of the site.

“The buildings are not well-maintained,” Deputy Mayor Jean-Léo Legault said, and “are not supposed to be used for that purpose.”

Chalifoux said that the group had been sent multiple warning letters. In interviews with local media he dismissed any notion, as a few of the Hasidim have alleged, that anti-Semitism was behind their eviction, saying that Jews and non-Jews have lived “harmoniously” in Ste-Agathe for a century and the town has a large Jewish population.

“We gave them until July 26 to leave because there are young children with them and I imagine those kids need to go elsewhere,” Chalifoux said, according to Global News.

Complaints about the group date back to 2015.

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