Orthodox Jewish tenants at LeFrak City in Queens claim they are being discriminated against because newly installed lobby doors only open with an electronic key — which they cannot use on the Sabbath, a federal lawsuit alleges.
Sulaymon Ibragimov and Murod Takhalov are suing the LeFrak Organization for alleged religious discrimination under the Fair Housing Act.
“Halakha, the Jewish law, prohibits Jews from breaking or creating an electric circuit on the Sabbath, and during certain days of observance such as Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, and Passover,” according to the suit filed in Brooklyn Federal Court.
For a half century, tenants used metal keys to open the lobby doors, but a massive renovation project begun in 2012 has created new religious barriers for hundreds of Jewish families who reside at the 20-building complex in Rego Park, the class-action suit alleges.
The renovations included new lobby doors that open using an electronic key fob, which is also used to activate lights in the stairwell by using motion and sound detectors.
Ibragimov, 26, and Takhalov, 45, say they cannot use the elevator on the Sabbath or holy days as well, and the automatic lights also violate religious law for observant Jews.
How do they know that God doesn't want them to use electricity since the bible makes no mention of it?