Article Courtesy of The Palm
By Mike Diamond
Published September 15, 2020
Things are downright catty these days at Seven Bridges, an upscale, gated
community west of Boca Raton of 701 single-family homes.
From last November through May, there have been a number of incidents,
An alleged fight on the tennis courts between a number of
One woman allegedly labeling another a “shiksa” (a
disparaging term to describe a non-Jewish woman) urging the non-Jewish woman
and her family to move from the predominantly Jewish community.
The other woman firing back, calling her accuser “an ugly
These allegations are enmeshed in lawsuits and HOA documents that paint a soap
opera-like atmosphere at Seven Bridges.
The HOA on July 1
fined Deborah LaGrasso $5,000 and imposed a 330-day
suspension that bars her from using any of the amenities at
Seven Bridges for Facebook posts that the HOA called
“repugnant, factually incorrect and anti-Semitic” designed
to damage the reputation of the community and its residents.
Earlier this year, she was suspended 90 days for assaulting
female tennis players that she claimed were disrupting her
children’s tennis lessons.
Meanwhile, Deborah and her husband, Jeffrey, have filed a
federal lawsuit seeking $7 million from the HOA for
permitting religious discrimination to occur because they
are not Jewish.
The LaGrassos never thought they would find themselves in
the position they are in when they bought their $2.6 million
home at the gated community in September 2018. They were
impressed with the tennis program at Seven Bridges, so much
so that they paid $1,050 a month for weekday morning tennis
lessons for their three children.
Things went downhill last fall when the LaGrassos claim that members of a
women’s tennis league objected to their children taking up three courts. The
eight women in the league constantly interfered with the lessons, according
to the LaGrassos’ lawsuit.
Deborah confronted them on Nov. 22, 2019. An argument ensued and security
was called to separate the women. Some of the tennis players claim they were
assaulted. LaGrasso’s lawyer, Scott Weires, says the assault never occurred
and he has a video showing the other women were the aggressors, putting
their racquets in Deborah’s face.
But the HOA ruled against Deborah, barring her in December 2019 for three
months from using any of the amenities at Seven Bridges. The HOA said
Deborah grabbed the arm of one woman and the neck of another and threw
“Whether or not there was a prior verbal disagreement between your daughters
and the ladies is irrelevant as there is no justification for the physical
assault of fellow residents,” the HOA said in a letter dated Dec. 5 to
Deborah LaGrasso, already angry with the HOA, began using her anonymous
Facebook page called Bridges Seven, separate and apart from the official
Seven Bridges HOA page, to criticize board members, the community and
Resident Rachel Tannenholz, who was not involved in the earlier tennis
incident, suggested LaGrasso leave if she was so unhappy. Tannenholz did not
know at the time that it was LaGrasso’s page. That post set off a nasty
dispute, resulting in Deborah making a number of allegedly defamatory posts:
“Support Your Local Stripper” with a caption stating “Rachel’s GO FUND ME
PAGE. OH MY those platform shoes are horrendous . . must be so hard to type
and dance on the pole at the same time.!!!”
By the middle of May, Tannenholz discovered that Deborah LaGrasso was the
administrator of the page. The lawyer for Tannenholz, Debra Klingsberg,
called Deborah “a social media terrorist,” noting these posts were so
But LaGrasso claims Tannenholz sent a post to her saying: “Move out you
stupid Shiksa. You moved in somewhere which is 80% Jewish and you do not
belong here.” Klingsberg said Rachel never wrote the Shiksa post.
Tannenholz did not wish to comment for this story.
On May 19, Tannenholz went to LaGrasso's home to confront her. “Move out
bitch,” Rachel allegedly yelled. Deborah LaGrasso refused to open her door.
From the balcony of her home, LaGrasso allegedly threatened to shoot
Tannenholz. Sheriff’s deputies responded. LaGrasso filed a stalking
complaint against Tannenholz, which has since been withdrawn.
Tannenholz has filed a state lawsuit in Palm Beach County alleging that the
posts on Deborah’s page amounted to defamation. She also accuses Deborah
LaGrasso of malicious prosecution.
Both Tannenholz and the HOA are named as defendants in the LaGrasso federal
lawsuit. In addition to the $7 million in punitive damages, Deborah and her
husband want Seven Bridges to “de-annex” their home so that they would not
be subject to HOA rules. The LaGrassos claim that the HOA improperly
involved itself in the dispute between the two women, siding with Tannenholz
who allegedly spearheaded an effort to ostracize the LaGrassos. The
LaGrassos say they live in constant fear with their doors locked at all
times, have hired bodyguards to protect the family and have undertaken
instruction in the use of firearms for protection.
Meanwhile, Jeffrey LaGrasso wrote a letter on May 27 asking the HOA to look
into Tannenholz’s conduct. He said he had video and audio recordings showing
harassing and discriminatory behavior by her. The lawsuit alleges that the
HOA did nothing.
Weires said the 2016 changes to the Fair Housing Act make community
associations liable for failing to take prompt action to control known
discriminatory conduct of a resident or other third party.
“In our case, the association was notified of repeated instances of
outrageous discriminatory conduct against our client based on her religion
and, not only refused to do anything about it, but contrived an excuse to
punish her by levying grossly excessive fines and sanctions for violating
rules that do not exist.”
“It’s not about the money,” Weires said. “My clients are willing to settle
this case if every homeowner in the community makes a charitable
contribution to a non-profit organization of our choice that works to end
religious discrimination. The LaGrassos were fined $5,000 and have endured
nearly 10 months of abuse. We propose that the Association assess the same
$5,000 against every lot to settle this lawsuit.
“The result would be a win-win — the money would help countless others who
are battling for inclusion and freedom from discrimination, and every member
of the Seven Bridges community can feel good about contributing to such a
A Seven Bridges spokeswoman said the HOA does not comment on pending
LAWSUIT SEEKS $7M, ALLEGES HARASSMENT, DISCRIMINATION