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Sunday, August 27, 2006

NYT on Kiryas Joel Population Explosion

Little piece in today's NY Times about the baby boom in Kiryas Yoel, the Satmar Chasidic megavillage north of NYC :
KIRYAS JOEL, N.Y., Aug. 22 — As the administrator of this village in southern Orange County, Gedalye Szegedin knows that much of his job revolves around a simple equation: the number of girls who get married is roughly equal to the number of new homes this community will need to accommodate its rapid growth.

Last year, Mr. Szegedin oversaw the construction of 200 houses and apartments, mostly on the outer-lying lots along the eastern edge of this 1.1-square-mile community, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish enclave about 60 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. By the end of this year, he said, the village will most likely have 300 new homes.

“There are three religious tenets that drive our growth: our women don’t use birth control, they get married young and after they get married, they stay in Kiryas Joel and start a family,” Mr. Szegedin said.

“Our growth comes simply from the fact that our families have a lot of babies,” he added, “and we need to build homes to respond to the needs of our community.”
But the overdevelopment of the village has residents of neighboring communities predictably panicking about a potential influx into their towns of Chasidim who are getting crowded out of Kiryas Joel:
But developable land is a finite resource here, and not much of it is left. And as Kiryas Joel pushes up against its borders, nearby neighbors in the towns of Blooming Grove and Woodbury are moving aggressively to prevent the community from expanding by incorporating into villages of their own.

“We still have huge tracts of open land in Woodbury, and we want to keep it that way,” said Woodbury’s supervisor, John P. Burke, who grew up in the Bronx and moved to Orange County in 1969.

“We want to make sure that no outside community is able to completely transform the character and the look of our town,” he said. “If we need a village to do that, so be it.”

...“We just don’t understand why they have to keep pushing their expansionist ideas on us,” said Charles J. Bohan, who is the supervisor of the Town of Blooming Grove and a resident of the new village, named South Blooming Grove.
I completely suport the residents' of Kiryas Joel's right to live and procreate as they wish. I am also sympathetic to their problems of lack of space for their exploding population numbers. That said, I can fully understand the feelings of those residents in neighboring villages who feel that the choices of the Kiryas Joel residents are being foisted on them, and their resistance to having the housing and living styles of the Chasidim encroach upon their homes - free country or not.

25 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having sympathies for both groups is easy -- who do you support if only one group can get its way is a lot more difficult. Seems to me that if KJ is not breaking the law, then the outlying villages are in for a hard time.

11:47 AM  
Blogger YMedad said...

Hmmm. Not a "settlement" but a "village". Here in Yesha, we call ourselves "communities" and I explain that we have cities (Ariel, Maaleh Adumin), towns (Kedumim, Bet El), villages (Shiloh), moshavim and kibbutzim. The obnly form of residential area we don't have are hamlets - we're Jewish.

2:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i hope all the chassidim move to the 5 towns then maybe you will learn what it is like to have a neshumah.

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, let those Hassidics move to the five towns and go on welfare there, and be an albatross on their necks. We will see if they change their tune then.

I thought the Satmars say we are living in golus and must keep a low profile and not be aggressive vis a vis our hosts. What gives ?

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't worry, we have a dedicated tomchei shabbos. BTW Satmer came and went in Bayswater. And there is no welfare in 5Towns

7:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I also find Satmar to be difficult to stomach sometimes, the response of the surrounding villages is downright antisemitic. What difference does it make if the growth of a community occurs because of a high birth rate or immigration from other parts? Satmar is not an 'outside community' if the residents were born and raised in Kiryas Yoel, right next door to Woodbury. If the new residents were Black, the entire nation would be up in arms.

9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't criticize the neighbors of Kiryas Joel until you walk a mile in their shoes.

10:13 PM  
Anonymous Brother Bob said...

Why is this any different from trying to keep the Blacks out of one's neighborhood?

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 10:13 -- no matter how much you hate your neighbors, people who are born and raised in the village have the right to continue to live there. Why do 'immigrants' from the Bronx have the right to dictate who can live in their county based on religion? And, imagine if that mayor had continued to live in the Bronx and made a statement like that about Blacks or hispanics? That mayor knows he is fighting a losing battle

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who knows? Maybe the Chassidim will try to take over the School Board like they did in Lawrence.

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Don't worry, we have a dedicated tomchei shabbos. BTW Satmer came and went in Bayswater. And there is no welfare in 5Towns"

So why don't you get the Chassidim off welfare in KJ and let your dedicated tomchei shabbos help them instead.

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no welfare in the five towns ? Is that a new law that was passed ?

3:38 PM  
Blogger SephardiLady said...

No welfare in the 5Towns? I don't believe that for a second. Last time I picked up the Five Towns paper while in the area, there was a 3/4 page ad looking to provide food stamps.

4:25 PM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

'Why is this any different from trying to keep the Blacks out of one's neighborhood?'

I don't think it is any different.

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can someone explain to me, what is the difference between a village and a town, what does it mena to incorporate, and what does incoportaing accomplish? Thanks.

10:49 AM  
Blogger Goy Guy said...

"what is the difference between a village and a town.."

In NY the state is divided into 50+ counties. These counties are really like political subdivisions of the state. The towns are areas within the state (smaller than counties) which are the basic form of local government providing garbage pickup, street cleaning, dog catcher and most importantly ZONING control. What can be built and where. They issue building permits and review plans and divide the town into residential, commercial, business and other sections.

Cities and villages are local governments within towns that have voted to form their own governments and take over control of many of the town services on a more local level.They also usually gain the power to regulate zoning. So if a town allows single family houses in a given area on 60x100 lots, a village might only allow them on 1 acre lots.The town might allow 20 story apartment buildings, the village only garden apartments. Or the other way around.

12:01 PM  
Blogger lawrencemiami said...

Satmars are hungarian ,they have alot more class & better taste than the non satmars ,they are totally kool,not just the ones in bayswater queens,five towns ,but in williamsburg & kiryas yoel as well.check out the inside of their homes ,clean spotless,expensive designer clothes.

12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

satmar bayswater is a growing community and is putting up now five miilon dollar shul

11:36 PM  
Anonymous kishke said...

yes i heard they are also putting in that bldg. a mikva a ball room and huge libarary a big part of the money is coming from supporters of the grand rabbi aron tietelbaum the satmar rabbi and some money from satmar supporters in the five towns were the rabbi visit it before the summer

11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you should all be so lucky to have the hassidim move to your areas we are hard working law abiding people who only want what you all want the freedom to choose our own lifestyles to hold on to our faith and our culture the things many of our grandparents died foe in the holocaust I am chabad Lubavitch in S.C send your hassidics here we love our jewish bretheren

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hard working = to better only your own

law abiding = taking advantage of cash to hide your income

citizens= can apply for welfare and then spend the rest of your time spending that cash on couture

praise allah, we are saved

3:07 AM  
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