ZOA Files Suit Against Cherry Hill Public Schools for Failing to Protect Jewish Student and Encouraging a Hostile Antisemitic Environment
News Press Release
June 26, 2024

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) filed a lawsuit in federal court yesterday against Cherry Hill Public Schools (CHPS), which serves over 10,000 students in New Jersey.  Filed on behalf of high school student L.B. and his parents, the suit alleges that after the Hamas massacre on October 7, 2023, L.B. was repeatedly assaulted, threatened and harassed after he documented the Hamas-supporting conduct of other students.  Instead of protecting L.B. and effectively addressing the antisemitic hostility he was enduring, CHPS officials contributed to the hostility, painting L.B. as a troublemaker, undeservingly punishing him, and retaliating against him for exercising his right to free expression.  The ZOA is proud to partner with the law firm of Meister Seelig & Fein PLLC to secure justice for L.B. and his family.

The complaint alleges that immediately after the Hamas attack, several students showed up at the high school wearing keffiyehs, waving Palestinian Arab flags, and shouting “Free Palestine,” signaling their support for Hamas and its genocidal goal to kill Jews and eliminate Israel.  L.B. documented their conduct by posting videos of them on social media, which was his right and which did not violate district policies, as CHPS officials acknowledged to L.B. and his parents. 

District officials knew that a group of students threatened to jump L.B. because of his social media posts but took no steps to protect him.  Instead, they ignored the threat and blamed L.B. for instigating it.  When students acted on their threat, assaulting L.B. in the school cafeteria as he was eating lunch with friends, CHPS punished L.B. without cause and without due process and ignored the continuing threats he endured.   

L.B. and his parents implored CHPS to take corrective measures, but they refused to do so.  They now seek declaratory and injunctive relief in court to ensure that CHPS finally lives up to its legal obligation to eliminate the hostile environment that L.B. has been subjected to, which must include rescinding all the baseless and wrongly punitive actions taken against L.B.; and compensatory damages for the harm that L.B. and his family have endured.

“With antisemitism surging, including in New Jersey, CHPS’s indifference to the fear, pain and suffering of L.B. and other Jewish students is unconscionable, particularly after Hamas committed the worst mass slaughter of Jews since the Holocaust,” ZOA National President Morton A. Klein and Director of ZOA’s Center for Law and Justice, Susan B. Tuchman, Esq. said.  “Instead of making it clear to the community that there would be zero tolerance for actions that seemingly celebrated Hamas’ massacre and made Jewish students feel unsafe, the district not only tolerated the conduct but also indulged it.  Worse, they outrageously painted L.B. as a wrongdoer who was asking for it.  No one asks to be assaulted, threatened or harassed at their school based on their Jewish identity or for any other reason.  It was up to CHPS to put a stop to that conduct and hold L.B.’s assailants accountable. 

 “The ZOA is honored to be working with Meister Seelig & Fein PLLC to ensure that the many wrongs against L.B. and his family are finally righted and that CHPS is finally required to provide a safe and welcoming learning environment for L.B. and other Jewish students.”

Jeffrey Schreiber, Esq. and Stephen Meister, Esq. of Meister Seelig & Fein PLLC added:  “It is outrageous that the Cherry Hill school district not only failed to protect L.B., it also coddled antisemitic terrorist-supporting thugs while punishing L.B., suspending him for the ‘crimes’ of being Jewish in public, and having the temerity to expect that the district would follow its policies and protect its Jewish students.  Meister Seelig & Fein PLLC is proud to stand with ZOA in seeking justice for L.B. and his family.”  

Center for Law & Justice
We work to educate the American public and Congress about legal issues in order to advance the interests of Israel and the Jewish people.
We assist American victims of terrorism in vindicating their rights under the law, and seek to hold terrorists and sponsors of terrorism accountable for their actions.
We fight anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias in the media and on college campuses.
We strive to enforce existing law and also to create new law in order to safeguard the rights of the Jewish people in the United States and Israel.