Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Judge tosses case of ex-congregant who sued Brooklyn synagogue after being booted 

Ex-congregant Zvi Geller sued his former synagogue shul.

A former congregant of a Williamsburg synagogue who sued the shul over a leadership dispute has lost his case, the Daily News has learned.

Zvi Geller filed a lawsuit against Beth Jacob Ohev Sholom in August, demanding new board elections.

His lawyer had previously told The News that the root of the lawsuit is religious, however, saying Geller thought the Orthodox temple had lost its way.

Beth Jacob Ohev Sholom leaders contended Geller really wanted to control the Rodney St. synagogue — the last Orthodox, non-Hasidic congregation in the neighborhood, court papers said.

They also maintained leaders officially booted Geller, 40, from the synagogue in January. They argued his expulsion undermined his right to sue, according to Brooklyn Supreme Court filings.

Justice Lawrence Knipel tossed Geller's lawsuit Friday, writing in a one-page decision that he "lacks standing as he was expelled from organization..."

Knipel's dismissal is without prejudice, so Geller could still pursue legal action.

"We're considering our options of an appeal or re-filing at the judge's direction," said Geller's lawyer, Baruch Gottesman.

"The congregation is happy with the outcome of the case," said Leopold Gross, the synagogue's lawyer.

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