Residents Fighting Cliffwood Yeshiva Led by Rav Shimon Alster


Just a week after Ocean Township lost its battle to keep a yeshiva out of its locale, another battle is taking place in the Cliffwood section of Aberdeen, NJ, where residents are fighting Yeshiva Gedolah of Cliffwood, trying to stop it from constructing a building on Meinzer Street, just west of Route 35.

Representatives of the yeshiva will continue making their case before Aberdeen’s zoning board this coming Wednesday.

Resident Michael Canberg is leading the fight against the yeshiva and is being represented by the law firm of Curcio Mirzaian Sirot.

 Canberg claims that he has concerns of fire safety, traffic safety, “density,” and other concerns, but, as in many other similar cases, anti-Semitism is suspected, just as it was in Ocean, where the locals’ dislike for Orthodox Jews was virtually palpable during the court battle.

The proposed yeshiva building would have a bais medrash, a dining room, a gym, a 160-bed dorm, and a building with 42 apartments to house yungeleit.

The yeshiva is being represented in this legal matter by Hazlet lawyer Jeffrey Gale.

Yeshiva Gedolah of Cliffwood is led by its rosh yeshiva, Rav Shimon Alster. Rav Alster was a maggid shiur for many years at Mesivta of Long Beach. About thirteen years ago, he opened his yeshiva in Cliffwood, on a quiet cul-de-sac just a half-hour from Lakewood and forty-five minutes from Brooklyn, serving as a premier makom Torah where bochurim and yungeleit toil in Torah from morning to night under the hadrachah of the rosh yeshiva.

Rav Alster also serves as mara d’asra of Bais Medrash Torah U’tefilla in Flatbush.

{Gavriel Sitrit – Newscenter / Photo: (c)}



  1. what i really don’t understand about this case and other similar ones where orthodox jews want to build either homes or a yeshiva is the following: even if you win the case in court that doesn’t mean that you won over the residents of the area, anti semites or otherwise. in all probability their losing the case only makes them angrier. so what point is there in living or studying in a neighborhood that hates you so much? i’d be afraid to walk the streets at night or even during the day. this country is not “ours”, so to speak. we shouldn’t push our weight around too much.

  2. Let’s call it like it is. This is pure anti semitism by local Torah haters. If this was a Muslim house of prayer or school, you wouldn’t hear a peep. What a bunch of bigots.

  3. build your Yeshivah in a “City” there is more opportunity & services in a city than a town, especially in NJ, they’ll fight u on everything !!