New York – NYT: Aided By Orthodox, City’s Jewish Population Is Growing Again


    Williamsburg chasidm. FILE photo By  Stefano GiovanniniNew York – After decades of decline, the Jewish population of New York City is growing again, increasing to nearly 1.1 million, fueled by the “explosive” growth of the Hasidic and other Orthodox communities, a new study has found. It is a trend that is challenging long-held notions about the group’s cultural identity and revealing widening gaps on politics, education, wealth and religious observance.

    Along Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn. In 2002, 33 percent of respondents identified themselves as Orthodox Jewish; in 2011, 40 percent did.
    Those findings, contained in the first authoritative study of the city’s Jewish population in nearly a decade, challenges the entrenched image of Jews as liberal, affluent and well educated. Over the last decade wealthy, Ivy League graduates like those on the Upper West Side have increasingly lost population share relative to Orthodox groups, like the Hasidic population in Brooklyn, where college degrees are rare and poverty rates have reached 43 percent.

    Members of these Orthodox groups also have been known to be far more likely to adopt more conservative positions on matters like abortion, same-sex marriage and the Israeli approach to the Palestinians.

    At the same time, among non-Orthodox Jews, there has been a weakening in observance of quintessential Jewish practices. Participation in Passover Seders has declined: 14 percent of households never attend one, almost twice as many as a decade ago. Reform and Conservative movements each lost about 40,000 members between 2002 and 2011; nearly a third of the respondents who identified themselves as Jews said they did not ally themselves with a denomination or claimed no religion.

    “There are more deeply engaged Jews and there are more unengaged Jews,” said Jacob B. Ukeles, a social policy analyst and one of the principal authors of the study, which was sponsored by UJA-Federation of New York. “These two wings are growing at the expense of the middle. That’s the reality of our community.”

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    1. “like the Hasidic population in Brooklyn, where college degrees are rare and poverty rates have reached 43 percent.”

      You have the kids, now go out and get jobs to support them and teach them a trade!

      • FYI do you know who the owners OF b&h, photo adorama, Brooklyn financial group …………and more…. pull your self up the sewer drain and breath some fresh air then you can go back down…

        • Brilliant Comment! You eloquently reduced his argument to shambles. But I should also point out that B&H has 1,500 employees (sounds like a lot…), Brooklyn Financial Group has less than 50 Employees, and I can’t refute your …and more… since there is no such company. Satmar of Williamsburg alone has a population of 45,000; B&H will never be General Motors and will never be able to employ everyone… More importantly even if they could employ everyone, they could never give them a living wage that would cover the cost of a 12 member family. In the words of Dr. Sheldon Cooper: I believe the appropriate metaphor here (Describing the tenuous plight of the Chassidic economy) involves a river of excrement and a Native American water vessel without any means of propulsion.

          • Thanks for the compliment: 1st of all i didn’t list all this company’s to show employment opportunity’s. Just to show that Hasidic Jews w/o Collage degree (such as the owner of B&H) are quite successful economically. But since you mentioned it i will point out that a population of 45000 with an average household of around 3-4 that equals to around 15000 individuals seeking work. And if I’m able to name a few just like that with the capacity to employ over 10%, then you’re metaphor is indeed quite A propulsion.

    2. With 43% poverty rate and rising, I don’t know how this is something to celebrate. It is only given that educated, upper middle class people don’t have many kids for the sake of having kids, but plan for the future of their children.

      • That’s why you are “enlightened”..
        We let our children “enlighten” our lives…parnassa comes from Hashem and he provides in ways that he thinks are good and just for us….
        Wow….you plan the future for your children? Really…? Nobody or nothing interferes with those plans…I wonder.

    3. High poverty rates in Brooklyn? Who will take care of the next generation? If you don’t allow them to learn basic academic skills, if you stop them from learning a trade or going to college… who will pay for the next generation of 1st graders to go to yeshiva? There won’t be any wealthy parents/ grandparents, and the money from the great grandparents’ businesses will either have run out or have to be spread among so many people that it is as if there was nothing left! Our schools will crumble because no one can support them!

      • You think Hashem doesn’t provide, huh? Don’t be so busy keeping tabs and control over everything. Yes…we need to teach children a trade…but the jist of all the writings is to denegrate the large families…that’s the jist of it all…after all, the comments here testify to it

      • well said… whoever is really concerned about their financial situation should do the right thing and give them a hand, for they are raising our future generation and are frankly doing a good job.

      • We do not live in the day that Hitler (ym’s) is the world that we are to conquer. The world is not conqured by having lots of children. We are building a better future for our people and of course Jews are a light to the nations.

        • How utterly foolish of you. 1.5 million children were killed by Hitler. 1.5 million children.
          This story is a story of a re-birth of the Torah community out of the ashes of the Holocaust.

        • do you know that before the holocaust there were aproximately 19 million jews.we have never recovered numericallly from the loss of the 6 million and currently remain at about 14 million.

    4. Relax about the Poverty B.S, Chassidim all B”H know how to work and how to make great money, this whole food stamps culture was invited, simply b/c it was pushed on us by liberal Government admin over the past 50 years.

      • No one pushed anything on you. Stop making excuses. I don’t see the liberals in Park Slope or Westchester shopping for groceries with food stamps. I see that only in poor communities. If you are implying that these Chassidim don’t really qualify for the food stamps and that they are gaming the system, they are fraudsters and thieves which is far worse than simply relying on welfare.

        Truth is, the poverty rate in these communities is very high, and that is because there is no education and little opportunity. If this was about some government conspiracy theory, secular Jews — most of who are very well educated — would be just as impoverished. They are not.

    5. During the late 1940’s, and early 1950’s, the Jewish population of the five boroughs was between 2.5 million and 3 million, which is was much larger than today!

      • That was before the Interstate Highway system, Levittown and the mass migration to the suburbs.
        I am a baby boomer born in CT to parents who left NY in 1952 because they did not want to raise more than 2 children in a Bronx apartment. My wife’s father also left NY in the early fifties, came to CT married and started a family.
        My mother’s sister left NYC for Nassau County to raise her family, My Father’s brother left Brookly in the 1950s, married a girl from CT and raised there family there. Now there are more than 50 of my family members in CT instead of NYC.

        My family arrived in NYC in the 1870s (before the pogroms), growing up all the grandparents and their generation lived in NYC, my parents generation moved to suburbia. None of my generation or the two younger generations of this Jewish family live in NYC. Unfortunately, the only time one of our family returns to rst in NYC is when they are buried in the family plot at Mt. Hebron in Queens. If you add the suburban Jewish population of Metro NY and the city population you will reach your quoted number.
        The Civil Rights Act of 1964 opened many new suburban areas for Jewish living!

    6. “nearly a third of the respondents who identified themselves as Jews said they did not ally themselves with a denomination or claimed no religion.”

      Say good Shabbos to them, invite them for a Shabbos meal… you never know..

    7. Just wait for the POVERTY rate will jump when starting over the next five – ten years the tax abatements for thousands of condominiums in Brooklyn will start to expire and phase out and landlords will be hit every month with a tax bill of $1,000 plus maintenance and mortgages fees!

      Average condominium tax bill is 7 times the rate of a brownstone. Ranging between $7,500 and $11,000 per year. It’s all because Mayer Bloomberg increased the public school teacher’s salaries 4 times the inflation rate? Bloomberg gave the teachers a 15% pay increase in one year alone! Some teachers earn $95,000 plus for only 180 days of work per year; there is no public school from mid June through September 7th plus mid-winter breaks! NY public school teachers receive one of the best pension plans in the entire country.

      All paid from Orthodox Jewish properties in the five Boros. While the Orthodox Jews are double taxed by paying extra yeshiva tuition!

      • How “Frum” is Frum? How “Jewish” is Jewish? Who here declares themselves better than another? The life and mitzvahs an individual lives by that Hashem ultimately chooses is not for a human to judge…we know right from wrong however. We can surmise what may occur to the Jewish sects but nothing but commandments are etched in stone.

    8. With more and more assimilation among the non-Orthodox, the trend is not difficult to predict of American Jews: more and more Orthodox Jews since they retain most of their children, have a high birth rate, and low intermarriage/assimilation rate; fewer and fewer Reform and Conservative Jews since there is a low birth rate among their members and a high assimilation/intermarriage rate which leads in most cases to less affiliation with Judaism among most of the children born from the intermarriage who choose not to identify with Judaism at all, and there will be a de facto merger between Reform and Conservative Judaism since there are few theological differences between the two movements and decreasing membership in these movements; and more and more unaffiliated Jews who have no connection to , or interest in, Judaism or Israel and these unaffiliated Jews will become known as ” Americans with Jewish heritage”. The non-Orthodox American Jews are drastically shrinking and they will continue to shrink.


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