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Landmark Victory for Religious Freedom: Ateres Bais Yaakov Academy’s Legal Battle Forces CUPON and COGN to Dissolve and Cease All Operations

In a landmark decision, Ateres Bais Yaakov Academy of Rockland has successfully settled its case against Citizens United to Protect Our Neighborhoods (CUPON) and CUPON of Greater Nanuet (COGN), marking a significant win for religious freedom in the region. The legal battle, docket number 20-CV-1399 (NSR), was filed by Ateres in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on February 18, 2020, and reached a resolution this April.

As part of the settlement, CUPON Inc. and COGN will cease operations and dissolve, effectively ending their activities. Additionally, CUPON has been ordered to pay Ateres $2,016.80 and to delete all social media accounts related to both organizations. CUPON Rockland President Gorden Wren and CUPON Founder Michael Miller are prohibited from forming any new organizations similar to CUPON.

The case was handled pro bono by Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, with partner Yehudah Buchweitz leading the team. “This important success closes the book on CUPON’s and COGN’s activities,” Buchweitz stated in a press release. “We are very proud to have represented Ateres Bais Yaakov Academy of Rockland. This case is a stark reminder that efforts to prevent religious minorities from living and practicing their faith freely will not be tolerated. In America, everyone should have the right to live, worship, and go to school wherever they choose, regardless of their religious affiliation.”

The Weil legal team included retired partner and senior pro bono counsel Robert Sugarman, along with associates Mark Pinkert, Yonatan Shefa, Nicolas Lee, Liora Schiff, Sarah Schnorrenberg, Adena Kleiner, Shai Berman, Josef Trachtenberg, Daniel Lifton, Blake Steinberg, Ben Apfel, and Avi Snider. Supporting Ateres, the Agudath Israel of America and the Anti-Defamation League filed amicus briefs.

This settlement is a significant reaffirmation of religious freedom, echoing principles established by the Founding Fathers and upheld through today.

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