Toms River, NJ…For the emerging Orthodox Jewish community it has been a struggle to establish a thriving community here including many legal and court battles. Despite attempts by the locals to thwart the growth, the fledgling community is set to top more than 1200 families by the end of the year. There was good news for the community this week as the Seasons kosher supermarket chain announced that it would be building a 20,000 square ft supermarket in a new developing mall. According to Mayer Gold, the new supermarket, set to open at the end of 2023, will be a state-of-the-art full-service kosher market. Currently, Toms River residents travel the 12 miles to some of the major kosher supermarkets in Lakewood. Of late, many luxury homes are being built here with many new developments on the drawing board. Owned by the Bistritzky family, Seasons already has supermarkets in Scarsdale, Clifton, Queens, Lakewood and Lawrence.
Several months ago, the Orthodox community filed two lawsuits that claimed the township has "engaged in an orchestrated campaign" to prevent the Orthodox Jewish population from expanding. Two congregations claimed that "a rising tide of anti-Semitism among the Toms River government and its population" has led the township to take "many targeted actions against Orthodox Jews in recent years." Residents were forced to hold services in basements. The suits ask the court to overturn the township's religious zoning restrictions and allow the construction of shuls on the Whitesville Road and Hickory Street land. Leaders told Kosher Today that they were confident that they would prevail in the courts and that Toms River was “on target to become the next major kosher enclave.”