Uneasy Welcome as Ultra-Orthodox Jews Extend Beyond New York – New York Times

Posted By on August 2, 2017

In March, Jackson adopted an ordinance banning school dormitories, which seemed aimed at yeshivas that draw students from afar. Agudath Israel of America, an umbrella group for ultra-Orthodox and Hasidic organizations, filed a federal suit in May arguing that the ordinance violated federal land-use laws intended to protect religious groups against burdensome local restrictions.

Jersey City, a manufacturing hub well into the 20th century, never had a significant ultra-Orthodox presence. But a few years ago, leaders of Brooklyns Hasidic communities, realizing that rising real estate prices were making continued expansion in the borough untenable, began scouting locations outside New York, and Jersey City emerged as an ideal place. It can be reached from Brooklyn by public transportation, and driving is relatively easy outside the rush hours.

An ad hoc organization known as Yaazoru (Hebrew for We will help you), made up of 60 volunteers from Brooklyn and Jersey City, helped settle the newcomers, even busing men to make a minyan of 10 so prayers could take place.

The other day, a Hasidic woman, Gitti B., was standing on her stoop watching several of her five children play with the children of a neighbor, Chaya H. Gitti said she was able to buy a house with four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a large dining room and a playroom for the same cost in mortgage, taxes and insurance as her $1,600-a-month, two-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn.

She and Chaya both said they had to lean on their Hasidic neighbors because they no longer lived among parents, siblings and cousins. When she had her last baby, Gitti said, her Hasidic neighbors pitched in, taking care of her children and preparing meals. Their non-Jewish neighbors have also been helpful.

They told us when we have to put out our garbage, and they introduced us to their pets so we shouldnt be afraid of them, said Gitti, who, like Chaya, did not want her last name used to protect her privacy. Theyre nice people.

Eddie Sumpter, 34, a black neighbor around the corner who was able to buy a bigger house by selling his previous home to a Hasidic family, said he welcomed the newcomers.

We live among Chinese. We live among Spanish, said Mr. Sumpter, who is a cook. It dont matter. People is people. If youre good people, youre good people.

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Uneasy Welcome as Ultra-Orthodox Jews Extend Beyond New York - New York Times

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