Don't Let This Happen To You
I have two boys. My older son is autistic and my younger son is
We had joined Marathon Jewish Community Center, 245-37 60th
Douglaston / Little Neck, NY 11362 (www.marathonjcc.org), thinking that
they would be understanding people. We were so wrong! In
2007, the behaviors of my older son became much harder
to manage. We thought our temple membership was
discontinued. I guess with everything we had to deal with, this
slipped through the cracks. We didn't think they would be so
mean-spirited about membership, either.
Two years later (in 2009), the president of Marathon
Jewish Community Center in Little Neck, Queens, NY, Dr. Abe
Dyzenhaus, DDS, sent us a nasty-gram demanding payment of dues for
2008 and 2009. We were incredulous that a Jewish house
of worship and "empathy" would treat others so harshly. I'm not
sure that suing needy families with an autistic child is an appropriate
way to promote good will toward a shul or its rabbi, Gary Greene, but
there you have
So in addition to having to deal with the behaviors of our son
with autism, we had to deal with a lawsuit from what was supposed
to be a center of compassion.
The legal point you need to know is that such a membership is
considered a perpetually renewing verbal
contract. Of course, we were unaware as to the terms of this
perpetual contract. Not paying the bill was insufficient to
indicate a desire to no longer be a member. The law is not
interested that we had
enough to deal with because of the behaviors of our son. Neither
was Marathon Jewish Community Center.
Don't let this happen to you. Make sure to notify the temple,
synagogue, Jewish center, shul, JCC, etc as soon as you wish to
discontinue your membership. In this way you can avoid being sued
by them. And make no mistake, you WILL be
sued by them, as were we.
As this is considered a verbal contract by law, telephone notification
may be sufficient, but it is probbably wiser to notify your temple,
synagogue, Jewish center, shul, etc in writing.
Good luck, and I hope you do not have to go through what I did.