Goshen, NY – For a while the village wanted to change the zoning law to allow religious groups to locate or expand in the downtown business zones, in accordance with federal law. But since Chabad of Orange County entered the zoning fray several months ago, the focus has been fixed on this group of Orthodox Jews, with most residents saying the shopping district isn’t the place for a synagogue.Join our WhatsApp group
And this issue is expected to dominate the conversation at a public hearing tonight at the Goshen Senior Center. The turnout is expected to be too big for the Village Hall.
But few people seem to know that the change in zoning would affect four of the village’s five churches, in addition to the synagogue.
Rabbi Meir Borenstein said people think Chabad will bring in outsiders and turn Goshen into the next Kiryas Joel. But he said his intentions are to preach to those already in the area who might have strayed from the faith.
“They think they’ll wake up one morning and there will be people in black hats everywhere,” Borenstein said. “That’s not our goal.”