Religious Debate over New Lakewood Shopping Mall Heats Up

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LAKEWOOD-A group of residents in Lakewood are worried about what might happen after the 200,000 square foot shopping center, called Lakewood Shopping Village is completed and opens to the public.

The project is now facing renewed criticism from a handful of residents.

A hearing is set to be heard on the project Tuesday night.  Some residents in Lakewood are upset over the project, which is affiliated with the Beth Medrash Govoha Yeshiva.

A petition circulating against the mall has gained over 1,200 signatures.

Opponents, in the petition letter said the “BMG mall” will promote a materialistic lifestyle and that the shopping center will be a hangout for teenagers.

“Even in Shoprite, there are stores that do not live up to the standards of the yeshiva,” the group wrote.  “How can we expect shops in this mall to be any different?”

The letter continued, saying the mall will be a melting pot of of people whose lives are in complete contradiction.

“The yeshiva agreed to sign there will not be stores open on Shabbos, but it refused to sign that there will not be stores owned by goyim,” the petition letter stated. “It is clear their only concern is rental income.  If a non-Jewish owner is prepared to pay more, will he be refused? Or will the excuse be given that it is against civil rights laws to prohibit rental due to race, creed or religion?”

“The threat of being a hangout, the presence and influence of non-Jews is terrifying,” the letter continued.  “Why did you allow a place where boys and girls hang out together?”

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According to the “Take Back Lakewood” page, the meeting will be streamed live on the First Amendment Activist Channel here. You can also call in to hear the live meeting at 712-432-4263

Read the full story here.


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