Justice Jeffrey Sunshine

Mother applied to be permitted to travel to Israel with her child. She claimed her uncle was getting married to the daughter of a “very famous and influential rabbi.” Father contended the child traveling to Israel was in contravention to the express language of the parties purported agreement. Also, father noted mother failed to show the trip was in the child’s best interests, noting it was contrary to the tenets of Satmar Hasidim, in which the child has been raised to follow, which forbid travel to Israel because Israel and “the Zionist idea upon which the state is built on is in conflict with the central tenets of the Ultra-Orthodox Satmar teachings.” The attorney for the child noted the child was experiencing “serious and significant confusion and concerns about a child of his community being in Israel.” The court stated it would not become embroiled in a religious disagreement, and would limit itself to the best interest of the child analysis. It found it was not in the child’s best interest to require him to travel to Israel, stating the emotional risk to him outweighed any benefit conceivably derived from the experience. Thus, mother’s petition for temporary custody and permission to travel to Israel with the child was denied.