New Jersey – NJ Newspaper Highlights Lakewood’s High Welfare Statistics


    Lakewood, NJ – A week of high profile arrests have cast the public spotlight on Lakewood, where nearly half of the township’s children receive some form of public assistance, according to federal data.

    An Asbury Park Press analysis of census data reported that there are 43,600 children under the age of 18 in Lakewood. Of those, 21,600 are the beneficiaries of food stamps, welfare or Supplemental Security Income and Lakewood’s median household income of $40,983 is the 26th lowest in New Jersey.

    The average age in the township is 22.4 years, 17 years younger than the state average.

    Rabbi Moshe Zev Weisberg of the Lakewood Vaad said that many in the township are extremely concerned about this week’s arrests and have contacted the vaad for advice. Most are worried about relatively minor issues, said Weisberg, such as failing to report cash gifts or tuition payments made by family members on behalf of their children.

    The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office warned that more arrests will be forthcoming.

    Read more at the Asbury Park Press.

    Follow VosIzNeias For Breaking News Updates


    1. Ok is that not the country we live in . 21,000 out of 43 on programs . Well only 47% pay taxes .

      As a side note yonasonw and others fail to see how this exposes the stupidity of our government. One of the programs that was defrauded was sandy relief funds .The crime was. Underreporting income . In other words the rest of the community who played by the rules did no crime and we are OK with providing sandy relief . Did anyone ever stop and think why the heck did the government offer sandy relief to Lakewood to begin with ? Like just because it’s near seaside heights? Was Lakewood hurt in anyway from sandy ? What needed to be rebuilt was n Lakewood ?

      If we want to fix the problem we must also solve the stupid government problem . Yonasonw thinks our government is so great. I think we have a stupid government . And we need to make it great again . ( you may believe trump is the wrong messenger but his message is clear )

    2. Unfortunately, this behavior is justified because how else could frum people stay in learning, have a large family, etc.
      Could there be a connection between the burgeoning OTD crisis and Lakewood fraud? Kids see and absorb everything.

    3. somethin’s wrong today– the frum world has grown by leaps and bounds . kain yerbu Historically speaking there never has been such growth ever.Back in europe there never was so many students learning in yeshiva as we have today. At most the biggest yeshiva had 200 or 300 students ,all other young people went to work at an early age to help support their families.The students in yeshiva came from families that were involved in kahal vocations IE. RABBI, SCHOCHET. PARNES etc. or families that were wealthy.or a serious learner who constantly studied all day long.There are just a few students in the yeshivas today that can match that.In jerusalem and new york I see students in the streets all day long not sitting in the bes medrish .

    4. I’m surprised that the APP has stooped to a new low as to engage in what is effectively plain and simple Jew- baiting. How many statistics had to be manipulated to come up with the married in Lakewood vs. married in Newark cherry picked comparison? 9 or 10 children households are not uncommon in Lakewood. Obviously if you had reported the number of total households receiving aid vs households in Lakewood that are not receiving programs the numbers would tell a very different story. Also not mentioned, and most likely intentionally omitted, was that the numbers in Lakewood include the African American and Hispanic community both of which have a significantly higher rate of participation in programs than the Orthodox Jewish population. Additionally, minority households in Newark where both parents are married tend to be far better off financially than single parent minority households and are definitely not representative of Newark as a whole. To cherry pick numbers to create a story is irresponsible reporting at best, and perhaps Jew- baiting considering some of the anti Semitic and Jew bashing comments that seem to be indicative of the lowest elements of society coming out of the woodwork to attack an entire religion in response to some of these inflammatory articles as many commenters have done.

      • Where do you get your information from? “The African American and Hispanic community both have a significantly higher rate of participation in programs than the Orthodox Jewish population.” What difference does it make if a child receiving benefits has one sibling or ten? It doesn’t change the fact that almost 1/2 the kids in Lakewood receive gov’t benefits. I would tend to believe the newspapers information above yours. Personally I think you should only use the anit-semitic card when it is really necessary because if it’s overused it loses its true meaning.

        • > What difference does it make if a child receiving benefits has one sibling or ten?

          Are you serious? Even from here in a foreign country I know that conventional welfare-like rules are based on a combination of income-and-children. So it makes a big difference how many children are in a family and how much a family can earn legally and still be legally eligible for some-or-another “welfare” program. And that makes a big difference when comparing one community to another, or when making such generic statements as “half the children” in the community are on some kind of welfare.

      • You are right to argue that the press is Jew baiting not to compare it to Newark. However, Newark is not news, if they reported it, we would all say “so what’s new” Religious Jews in Lakewood is news, to the rest of society it is shocking, nice Yeshiva boys acting like the Newark boys. However, what I note of is, the backlash for our own, read the blogs and listen to the people
        Remember when a yeshiva man was a guy with a beat up station wagon, old clothes, wives wore no make up and Torah was his ONLY goal. The last outpost of this is in good old Gateshead. The rest got watered down to a lifestyle, where you live the life of Riley, wear designer shoes and also pound their chests – I am a Yeshiva man. This is a huge mistake on the part of those that stared it. Maybe 10-20% of a class should be learning , those are ready to accept that their ONLY goal is Torah, and put in 12-14 hrs a day, the rest should listen to Chazal and get a parnussa. Everyone wants his cake and eat it too — but life is not like that, you have to struggle. Some to struggle with learning Torah and the rest struggle to provide for the family. Somewhere we have gone wrong, wont you agree?

      • Your apologist comment was cringe worthy from beginning to end. But the last sentence sealed it. You stated that people were responding negatively to the articles about benefit fraud, not the act of benefit fraud. It’s impossible, you just can’t think other people are stupid enough to believe that nonsense.
        People are upset, anti-semitism is boiling to the surface (what do expect in golus), – because of benefits fraud. The newspapers write articles that make it worse, that’s what they do.
        The problem is still benefits fraud.

    5. What concerns me most is that this will reveal not that these families don’t qualify according to the letter of the law but the above average life style these some families live. Is it not a chilul Hashem when you drive a lexus and shop with food stamps?

    6. This is great but there can be easily 100 more justified arrests like this coming
      Coronato Joseph is a jew lover as he gave the rabbis warning.

    7. Copied and pasted;

      Good day investors and board members at Gannett (the parent company of Asbury Park Press), advertisers at APP, and community leaders:

      On Friday afternoon June 30, 2017, the Asbury Park Press had a lead story online titled “Lakewood welfare: Half of Lakewood’s children on government assistance.” In it, APP staffer Payton Guion gave the numerical amount of children in Lakewood from married couples households who are on government assistance (18,200) and compared it to Newark the largest city in New Jersey who is second with the total number of children from married households on assistance (7,800).

      Apparently, the goal was to show how bad Lakewood is compared to the next municipality in terms of children on assistance. However, 81% children in Lakewood live in married couples households whereas less than 40% children in Newark live in such households, so of course Lakewood will likely have more children in married couples households on assistance compared to Newark.

      Using a category (married couples households) which has a large pool in Lakewood and small pool in Newark is brazen skewing of data. The accurate comparison to Newark would be the numerical and percent figures of how many children live in both places and how many of them benefit from government programs.

      After the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council took to Twitter (via @OJPACNJ) and called out APP for the above dishonesty, APP added data of all children who live in Newark and who also data of how many children in Newark who have assistance. While this is a good start, 1) the flawed married couples household comparison stayed in the report. As of this writing, the report still reads, “There are 10,000 more children in households with married couples in Lakewood receiving food, income or state aid than the next closest town.” 2) While APP shows the percentage of all children on assistance in Lakewood, APP shows only the numerical figure for Newark. My guess is APP knows that showing the percentage of children on assistance in Newark (53.7%) dilutes the rational for dramatizing Lakewood where 49.6% children are on assistance.

      Likely in an effort to hype the government assistance use in Lakewood, the report counts children who are on “some form of government aid” including apparently medical benefits despite the fact that children in a household of five that earns $99,000 a year are eligible for health care. Meaning, the high-level of eligibility for medical assistance in no way reflects the poverty level of Lakewood.

      Thirdly, Newark in raw numbers (37,965 vs. 21,612) and as a percent (53.7% vs. 49.6%) has more children on government assistance than in Lakewood. However, the Asbury Park Press does not suggest – as it does for Lakewood – that the assistance use in Newark is based on mass scale fraud.

      Fourth, the misleading data are in the first few paragraphs of the APP propaganda item; it is the premise of the whole item, not a side note. Furthermore, there is no editor’s note admitting that new data was added.

      Finally, APP reporting focuses on Monmouth and Ocean counties in New Jersey but the paper seems much more interested in Lakewood than the drug abuse crisis which claimed the lives of 350 people in those two counties alone last year. A search on APP for the word “opioid” generates only 85 results; “overdose” has 200 results, “Heroin” shows 1,158 results, and “Lakewood” has 3,571 results.

      In whichever way one looks at the propaganda item, it is clear that data-skewing (married couples households), journalistic malpractice (not showing percentages of Newark; adding medical care in the assistance use; treating Lakewood different than Newark), editorial dishonesty (omitting an editor’s note), and bias (an outsized focus on Lakewood) was deployed against a low-crime and mostly productive community of Orthodox Jews. This type of propaganda fuels anti-Orthodox rhetoric online and likely also fuels hate incidents in the streets. Investors in APP’s parent company Gannett and APP advertisers have a responsibility to demand that APP editors stop its bigoted fake news campaign against Orthodox Jews.

      Yossi Gesterner,

      Co-founder, Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council (

      P.S. Lohud/The Journal News in New York is also owned by Gannett. They too resort to data-skewing and journalistic malpractice to malign Orthodox Jews. OJPAC latest video addresses one example., and this addresses another example

      Thank you for reading.

      • Not trying o defend the anti-Semitic papers, but the fact that Lakewood is compared to Newark is sad enough. Sure, you can argue if you compare it properly, it is 53% -47% you are correct with that.
        You are missing the point what it is trying to say, The segment of the population that live in Newark. are pushing the bottom of the barrel of society. They live in slum homes, depressed neighborhoods, children in rags, beat up cars etc.
        In Lakewood they live in avg $4-500 000 homes, children dressed to the matching tees, fancy cars, and lately mansions galore, while they take almost the same amount of Gov’t assisted programs as the WORST community in NJ. That is comparison, and that is why they are comparing it to Newark and not Bradley Beach. where the homes go for the same amount as Lakewood. Trying to nit pick the data, you are unfortunately missing the point.
        It is a shame we have to be compared to the Schvartzers, There is something wrong in Lakewood. Same thing in Monroe, it is the “poorest” community in America and they live the standard of the middle -upper middle class of America. Something wrong with that?? No??

    8. Many factions of charedism (not all) have created a situation in which they rely upon govt handouts to survive. This is not a Jewish ideal. We say in benching . L-rd our G‑d, please do not make us dependent upon the gifts of mortal men nor upon their loans, but only upon Your full, open, holy, and generous hand, that we may never be shamed or disgraced. And yet we have created situations where we must rely upon the gifts of man.


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here