Residents of Ocean, NJ, Doing All They Can to Keep Out Rav Shlomo Feivel Schustal’s Yeshiva


rav Shlomo Feivel SchustalIt’s a story that repeats itself every few months: A yeshiva wants to open in a town, and the residents fight it.

In the latest case, residents of Ocean Township, NJ, are battling to keep out Yeshiva Na’os Yaakov, which is led by Rav Shlomo Feivel Schustal.

Signs line the streets in the Wanamassa section of Ocean stating, “No Dorm on Logan Road.”

According to some, the signs might as well say, “No Jews on Logan Road.”

“Those paying attention know that when people hear that it is an Orthodox Jewish school, their reflex is to say, ‘No way,’” an activist told “The residents will not admit it publicly, but it is pretty transparent,”

Ocean is no stranger to schools and students. In fact, it houses students from nearby Monmouth University.

But locals are opposed to a use variance sought by Yeshiva Na’os Yaakov for a 96-student boarding school on 1515 Logan Road.

Residents are showing up to the hearings in droves, reports. The last three board meetings had to be moved to Ocean Township High School to accommodate the large crowds.

The most recent meeting, reports, was held on July 15 and was adjourned after Fire Marshal Chris Prujat said the roughly 1,000 people who crammed into the 638-person capacity auditorium posed a “public safety concern.”

The residents don’t talk about the Jewish nature of the yeshiva. Instead they say that “the new school will drive down their property value and alter the makeup of the area,” despite offering no proof of either claim.

Darren Snyder, 42, lives next door to the property and says that he’s concerned that the new yeshiva will drive down his property value. reports that what attracted him to the neighborhood, Snyder said, was that it was a “nice, quite area.” He said he’s worried that an influx of 96 young adults would put that in jeopardy. “I remember how I was like when I was that age,” he said, adding that he is concerned about the lack of supervision of the students.

Virginia Gizzi lives in the neighborhood as well. Both Gizzi and Snyder claim that their strong feelings are not fueled by religion.

Roman Storzer of Storzer & Green, a firm that represents religious organizations in zoning and land use cases, said the applicant has satisfied all of the relevant land use interests, such as traffic, noise and environmental concerns.

“They would also be renovating the property, making it much more harmonious,” Storzer said, according to

He said the fact that opposition remains strong among the residents suggests their concerns go above the building itself.

Storzer also pointed to the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000, commonly known as RLUIPA, which protects religious organizations from being discriminated against in zoning and landmark cases.

The next hearing is scheduled for Sept. 30, but a location has not yet been determined.

Yeshiva Neos Yaakov opened one year ago, in Elul 5774, first settling temporarily at Camp Morris in Woodridge, NY, with over 60 talmidim, and then resettling in Lakewood, NJ, in the former Chavrei Hakollel building on Somerset Avenue.

Besides the rosh yeshiva‘s shiur, the bais medrash-level  also features a first-year bais medrash shiur, which is delivered by Rav Yisroel Akiva Schustal. Rav Yisroel Akiva is a son of the rosh yeshiva, Rav Shlomo Feivel, and a son-in-law of Rav Elya Dov Wachtfogel, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Gedola Zichron Moshe of South Fallsburg. Rav Yisroel Akiva formerly led the Freehold Kollel.

The chozer at the yeshiva, who reviews the rosh yeshiva‘s shiur with the talmidim, is Rav Gavriel Blau, son-in-law of Rav Shlomo Feivel Schustal.

Rav Schustal, who is renowned for his in-depth shiurim, served for over 30 years as rosh yeshiva at Yeshiva Gedolah Torah Temimah, before opening the new yeshiva. Rav Schustal also formerly served as rov of Bais Medrash Avreichim of Flatbush.

Should the yeshiva be allowed to relocated to Ocean, the day to day operations would be run by Rav Shlomo Lesin, noted machzik Torah and former longtime executive director of Mesivta of Long Beach.

{Gavriel Newscenter}


  1. Before screaming anti-semitism, think about what YOUR reaction would be if a group requested variance to put a 96-student, teenaged boys school near you. Would YOU want them on your residential block?

    Perhaps the best place is indeed in places like Industrial Park, down Squankum road, New Hampshire, Route 9 – all sorts of places that aren’t quite quiet residential areas?

  2. The residents don’t talk about the Jewish nature of the school because it is not relevant. There is a yeshiva down the block and the Hillel School campus is less than a mile away. Both institutions have very good relationships with the community. If you look at the demographics of the community, it has a very high percentage of Jewish families. There are more than twenty-five synagogues in the area ranging from Chabad, Othodox, Conservative and Reform, and everything in between. The issue is not that it is Jewish but that it is a boarding school. Yes, Monmouth College students rent in the area but they are rentals and they are predominantly in West Long Branch and Long Branch.. There is no Monmouth College dormitory in Ocean. If the college applied for a use variance, it would also be contested and hopefully denied.