Property Rights Foundation of America®

News Brief - Spring 2004:

Should Synagogues That Do Not allow Driving on the Sabbath be Required to Provide Parking?

In Flushing in Queens Borough, the streets boast numerous glorious churches, temples and synagogues, many built recently because of an influx of immigrants from the Far East. Residents of this long-established community and commercial hub complain about the parking difficulties caused by the concentration of worship by Christians of various denominations, many Korean-speaking; Buddhists; Jews; Muslims; and Hindus. The City proposed a law under review during March, according to The New York Times, that would require all houses of worship to provide parking spaces based on their largest room's maximum capacity. However, Orthodox Jews have long worshipped in New York City, including in Flushing, without requiring parking space because their beliefs require them to avoid all work on the Sabbath. This prohibits driving a car or riding in a vehicle. A spokesman for the Queens Jewish Community Council pointed out, according to the Times, that for people trying to build a new house of worship the cost of buying additional property for parking would be prohibitive.

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