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Orthodox Jewish Tenants Are Suing LeFrak City

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[Via Zachary Korb/Curbed Photo Pool]

The Daily News reports that a group of Orthodox Jewish tenants at LeFrak City are suing the massive Corona housing complex, alleging religious discrimination under the Fair Housing Act.

In 2012, the 20-building complex embarked on a huge renovation, adding lobby doors that only open with electronic keys, as opposed to traditional metal keys. Observant Jews are prohibited from "breaking or creating" an electric circuit on Shabbat and on a number of holy days, which means the "hundreds of Jewish families" that live in the complex cannot use the doors. The suit is being filed by residents Sulaymon Ibragimov and Murod Takhalov.

The suit claims that tenants are forced to wait outside for someone to open the doors or call the elevators, and is calling for the installation of one door in every building that opens with a regular lock, as well as a "Shabbos elevator" in each building (or, a preprogrammed elevator that stops on every floor so that Orthodox tenants do not have to push buttons).

"It's like praying for a miracle to stand outside waiting for someone to come and open the door or someone to use the elevator," Ibragimov told The Daily News. "I've also missed services at my synagogue many, many times."

When Ibragimov brought his issues up with the building manager, he was allegedly told to "Go somewhere else if you don't like it."

"There are rules in every faith and I want LeFrak management to respect every religious belief," he said.
· EXCLUSIVE: Orthodox Jewish tenants at LeFrak City suing for discrimination over building's new electronic keys – which they can't use on Sabbath [NYDN]
· All LeFrak City coverage [Curbed]