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Woodbury Jewish Center Moving Forward to Evict Morrell

WJC attorneys say Friday ruling clears the way for the next round; caterer counters that they expect to stay.

Woodbury Jewish Center is moving forward with their efforts to evict Morrell Caterers from their property

"It's not a complete win [for Morrell]…In fact, we're evicting him," said Woodbury Jewish Center's attorney Scott Mollen.

As of Monday, the temple said it will follow through with a summary proceeding that would attempt to evict Morrell from the premises, according to Mollen.

"It clears the way for Woodbury Jewish Center to move forward to recover possession of catering facilities and ultimately sever ties with Morrell," said Mollen.

Despite the possible eviction, Morrell's attorneys expect the summary proceeding to be dismissed.

"We have [the summary] proceeding and we expect to prevail there too," according to Morrell's attorney Ron Rosenberg, who said he is confident that his client's contract will be upheld and that he will "continue operating out of Woodbury Jewish Center until 2029."

The legal issues in the kosher scandal are cloudy.

In Friday's decision, Judge Vito M. DeStefano ruled that the contract, extending through June of 2029 between Woodbury Jewish Center and Morrell Caterers However, according to the temple's lawyers, this decision now presents a clear path toward evicting Morrell.

Morrell Caterers is at the center of a dispute that rocked the Jewish community in February when . Rabbis from surrounding synagogues as news broke that Morrell was accused of violating Jewish kosher laws that govern the preparation of food.

Among the accusations was that employees prepared kosher and non-kosher foods in the same vicinity.

larry nosh April 30, 2012 at 09:44 PM
The WJC should negoitate in good faith with Scott or pay him to leave. The only winners here are the lawyers
Heather Doyle May 01, 2012 at 11:06 AM
We have a follow up so everyone can share their thoughts on this. http://patch.com/A-sRH0
Josh Davis May 01, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Negotiate in "good faith". Morrell has not paid the Synagogue in almost two and a half years, owes in excess of $1,000,000 and continues to run his parties to the detrement of the WJC. Let's not lose sight of the equities here!
Seth green May 02, 2012 at 01:09 AM
Josh... No one has anything to gain. There is only loss. I have to pay for Rice to determine if there is enough evidence to convict morrell. She only cares about egg on her face. This lady had a drunk driver indicted and found guilty of murder. I would bet she's got reason. Reason is the reason. No smoke but fire is the DA motto. You better have your proof or fogetaboutit. There is nothing to gain. Settle this thing tomorrow.I don't care about costs today because it's only going cost more each day it isn't settled. Forgive me but if it's a money war between morrell and the wjc members....odds are 89-1. Make your deal scott pay your bills settle out and move on or be torn apart by 800 pissed rich jews
A Mamzer May 05, 2012 at 11:15 AM
One's reputation in matters of kashruth is the overriding criteria for those who take kashrut seriously nd any blemish to that reputation is an indelible mark. The Morrell debacle is a negative reflection upon the hosting synagogue and the hosting synagogue’s rabbi. It will be a challenge to convey the essence of the problem to a non-Jewish judge sitting in a secular court who, technically, cannot make religious decisions. Kashrut, by any measure, is exclusively a religious practice. One should not be dissuaded by the fact that orthodox rabbis have been reported in the press as having come forth advocating a compromise. The Va’ad, the supervising agency [hashgacha], is one of them. They would not publicly abandon a Va’ad of such stature, HOWEVER, see how many of them would now eat at an affair catered by Morrell at the Woodbury JC or, if they would deign to eat there, how many would do so BEFORE everything was re-kashered under strict supervision. These are the same rabbis who, when a Conservative hashgacha was involved in a dispute, did not hesitate to state that once there is a question raised as to a place’s reliability in matters of kashrut they could not, in good conscience, recommend that place as reliably kosher; there are enough places with pristine reputations.

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