Congregation Khal Chasidim of Westgate has just slammed Forest Haven LLC with a breach of contract lawsuit, FAA News has learned.

Congregation Khal Chasidim of Westgate is led by Rabbi Benzion Halberstam, the former Rosh Kollel of Bobov in London, England, and a grandson of Kedushas Tzion of Bobov.

Forest Haven LLC is managed by Sam Halpern and Danny Rottenberg.

In August 2021, Congregation Khal Chasidim of Westgate entered into contract agreements to purchase 3 properties from Forest Haven. These properties - located on Kelm Woods Avenue and Brisk Lane in Westgate - were intended to be used for a future shul building, parking lot, and a residence for the Rabbi.

The contract agreements made clear that the closing of the sale was contingent on fulfillment of certain conditions including obtaining clear titles and site plan and building approvals.

The contracts also stipulated, "closing shall be 10 days after the construction approvals are obtained, no later than 6 months from the date of this agreement."

Seems the crux of the dispute now is that the title and construction approvals have not yet been obtained, however, it is well past 6 months since the execution of the purchase contract...

In January 2022, Rabbi Halberstam placed $150,000 in escrow as the 10% deposit of the $1,500,000 total purchase amount.

On April 27, 2023, Ben Hoffer, attorney for Forest Haven, served Rabbi Halberstam with letters purporting to terminate the sale contracts and declaring the $150,000 deposit to be forfeited.

Noah Burton, attorney for Rabbi Halberstam, responded, pointing out that the original closing date was subject to various contingencies which have not yet been met. Accordingly, "any purported termination is a nullity and will be treated as such."

On June 30, 2023, Mr. Hoffer switched course and offered to sell only one parcel and return the deposit on the remaining contracts with no further obligation to the other for the remaining lots.

Rabbi Halberstam's attorney responded with a letter dismissing this offer and stating that he will be ready to close on all 3 properties within 14 days.

Forest Haven did not respond to this letter.

Rabbi Halberstam, represented by Toms River Attorney Edward F. Liston Esq., has just now filed a 2-count complaint, asserting that "the actions of the defendants constituted a willful and malicious breach of the contracts, and as a result plaintiffs have suffered damages."

The suit, filed in New Jersey Superior Court, Chancery Division in Ocean County, demands judgment compelling Forest Haven to complete the closing on the properties, as well as for compensatory and punitive damages, attorney fees and costs of suit.

Along with filing suit in Superior Court, Rabbi Halberstam has also filed a Notice of Lis Pendens with the Ocean County Clerk's Office. This notice serves to alert potential buyers that a lawsuit affecting the ownership of the property is pending.

Forest Haven LLC has 35 days to formulate an answer to the complaint.

To join a FAA News WhatsApp Group, click here.

To join the FAA News WhatsApp Status, click here.


Anonymous said...

It seems many Torah Scrolls in Lakewood, NJ are not kosher as they omit the verse of ואלה המשפטים upon which רש'י writes ולא לפני עובדי כוכבים

ab said...

If the Rabbanim don't go to din torah, is it surprising so many kids are going off the derech?

Anonymous said...

Certain Rabbanim claim they cannot address the problem of litigants using the secular court. I challenge them to remain silent if there is a breach in shmiras Shabbos. The simple answer is that it's not the sin or chillul Hashem that bothers them it's the perception of our town that they are concerned with!

Anonymous said...

Arkous and Messira in Lakewood are old stories going back to the Says of Shenkowlesky and Gavriel Finkel Bais Din Vaad Hadayonim

Anonymous said...

Going to court is a troubling issue.

Also troubling is Danny Rottenberg breaching a contract to sell properties.

Anonymous said...

Before everyone gets carried away .

I believe this LLC is either in full or part owned by people that are non Jewish and/or not religious in which case one may be allowed to go to arkous , regardless if who the managers are.

So before ,everyone starts with all the comments do your research.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who went into contract with Westgate knows that you have to sign a letter, stipulating that you will not go to Din Torah and the only remedy is to go to court
That Mr. rottenberg is just an agent for a Halpern’s ( who I believe are not orthodox Jews) are they prefer court?
You don’t really have the option

Anonymous said...

Danny Rotten berg had caused so much tzaar and ongoing machloikes for the bnei torah in Lakewood by getting Menashe Miller to abolish the rent control board, so Westgate can make more money. Why would a guy like that go to a bais din?