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June 13, 2012

A Conservative Jewish Magazine's Double Standard On Welfare And The Haredi Community's High Birthrate

Haredi family 2Perhaps without realizing it, Commentary Magazine has now shown that its years of campaigning against welfare and other "entitlements" has much more to do with how the recipients of that welfare vote than the cost of that welfare to government and taxpayers.

Haredi family 2
A haredi family in Jerusalem

A study done for the UJA Federation shows that NYC's Jewish population grew for the first time in years.

But the growth largely came from haredim, whose high birthrate is starting to make a very visible impact on things Jewish.

Commentary Magazine lauds this news as the "beginning of the end for liberal Jewry."

Another writer, noting haredi poverty, concludes his post by celebrating the rapid increase of the haredi community anyway:

The Orthodox certainly face challenges as their community grows. The Haredi community’s insularity means they must work hard to ensure that guidance counselors, special-needs educators, and other forms of crucial youth development services are available to their community. And poverty is often correlated with health risks that should not be ignored. But the Orthodox are also the source of the positive trends in the study. If the goal is Jewish continuity–as of course it should be–the Orthodox are leading the way.

What Commentary does not do is mention the fact that many of the haredi children that make up NYC's Jewish population growth are welfare recipients.

Writing at Open Zion, Raphael Magarik attacks Commentary for its double standard and notes:

You know what else [haredim] possess? Staggering quantities of public assistance. Take the overwhelmingly Hasidic Kiryas Joel, the poorest place in America. As the Times reported last year, “half of [its] residents receive food stamps, and one third receive Medicaid benefits and rely on federal vouchers to help pay their housing costs.” And boy, do they have children: The median household in Kiryas Joel has six people, and the median age is twelve. Many of its men learn Torah full-time instead of working, and the community’s low high-school graduation rate would be even lower if its religious schools had real academic standards. These kids are hardly being “socialized to the world of work.” And it’s not just Kiryas Joel: back in 1996, at the heart of “welfare reform,” a full third of Williamsburg’s Hasidim received public assistance.

Welfare is, and has been for some time, a crucial ingredient in these communities. While Hasidim take care of their own, they also get taxpayers to take care of them.  Like Israeli Haredim, Kiryas Joel’s Hasidim vote together to secure, for instance, a “luxurious 60-bed postnatal maternal care center… built with $10 million in state and federal grants.” Off the record, New York City officials admit that Williamsburg’s Hasidim “work the system,” and experts who don’t have to be reelected come out and just admit there’s widespread fraud.…

As I wrote almost seven years ago, haredi communities are not self-sufficient. They rely on donations from non-Orthodox Jews, government grants, welfare – and, yes, welfare fraud – in order to survive.

To extol the birth of more children into poverty because those children are Jewish, but to decry similar growth in other, non-Jewish, poor populations is racist.

And its also very short-sighted.

But Commentary does note something worth mentioning – 58% of NYC's Jewish poor are not Orthodox or haredi.

What Commentary does not say is that those Jews need to be helped.

To do so we need to find out where the Federation's anti-poverty money is spent.

Does 58% go to non-Orthodox projects and neighborhoods?

Or do haredim net a disproportional amount of this communal money distributed by organizations like the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty?

In the last couple years I've written several posts on Jewish poverty and homelessness. One of the things I've learned is that Jews who are not members of powerful religious communities, like Satmar in Williamsburg and Lubavitch in Crown Heights, seem to get less help than those who are members. (This seems to be true with regard to government programs and Jewish community programs, as well.)

But whatever the actual pie-cutting is, the Federation is doing too little to help poor Jews no matter what their affiliation, just as the government is doing to little to help poor Americans of all affiliations.

And that needs to be changed.

Haredism looks good on the surface. It's Fiddler on the Roof, singing and dancing Jews happy to be Jewish and proud of it.

But probe a little deeper and what you find is massive poverty, cult-like behavior, and a surprisingly large attrition rate hidden by the haredi community's famous insularity.

And look even deeper and you'll find a surprising number of haredim who want to leave their community but who cannot due to their woefully poor secular educations, their inability to communicate clearly in English, their fear of being cut off by their family and friends, of losing custody of and access to their children, and their fear of a secular world they do not know how to navigate.

In short, they are trapped in and by what we would call a cult if that cult was not so overtly Jewish.

But for Jews who care about numbers more than they care about lives, none of this matters. And it is those numbers-worshiping Jews who control today's Jewish community.

And after all, what's a little cult-like behavior and self-inflicted poverty if it gets the Jewish community more babies?

Comments

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what is amazing with all the poverty, supposedly, the houses in KJ and skver cost a fortune.

and I need to find the study that Boro Park and other frum poverty stricken areas are the best customers for the hight end baby carriages

also i can go to people houses who are on welfare and so yet they will have beautiful silver menorah and other stuff that cost a small fortune

something is not added up

It adds up quite well, Seymour. It's called working for cash under the table. In some circles that's known as criminal fraud. Obviously many Hassidim do an honest day's work and receive no such illicit benefits. But it explains the circumstances you describe quite accurately.

Obviously many Hassidim do an honest day's work and receive no such illicit benefits. But it explains the circumstances you describe quite accurately.

Posted by: SkepticalYid | June 13, 2012 at 05:00 PM

very true even your last statement, however what bother me is that it is almost acceptable to do that and milk the system.

Their is no shame no repercussion and no rov ever speak up against it, but they needed an asifa against the Internet

another words to them eating a carvel ice cream is a bigger sin that scamming the system

that what pisses me off

43% wow so with out government program they could not survive

I guess Torah needs help

seymour--Lets face it they outsmarted the system its a no brainer,if someone cannot afford 2 children and keeps having children some of them a dozen, who is crazy here, its the system that does not monitor them more closely.

I know someone personnaly whos income is greater then a 100 thousand and he doesnt lift a finger his wife works part time i am not kidding,gets all the benefits and more.

Seymour: I suspect that tax evasion is rampant in the Haredi communities. Income tax, property tax (religious exemption abuses), even sales tax.

Although the NY Times article in 2011 dealt with poverty in KJ, the numbers for New Square look even worse but house prices in NS are high. See here:

http://www.city-data.com/poverty/poverty-New-Square-New-York.html

and here:

http://www.city-data.com/city/New-Square-New-York.html

How do you explain high house prices and very high poverty rates other than tax evasion? NS is not an old community where family homes might be passed down from father to son or daughter. Besides, there are too many children to make this work.

In Detroit, where reported poverty is actually lower than in New Square, house prices are much lower.

SR, a very good article.

The survey excluded the counties of Rockland and Orange north of New York City. Even in 2000, Rockland had the highest percentage of Jews of any county in the US owing to the fast growing Hasidic communities in New Square and Monsey. In 2010, the population of KJ (virtually all Hasidic) at over 20,000 was larger than the entire estimated Jewish population of Orange County, NY in 2000 (15,000).

At what point does the welfare burden become too heavy to bare by the average non-Hasidic resident of counties like Rockland and Orange?

Theese hassidim are being paid to think with their putzes by the counties.

Ohhhhhhh they are conservative.............not Conservative.

Got it.

Of even greater import is that the rapid expansion of ultra-Orthodox and Hasidic Jewry are the sole reason for this population growth. By contrast, the numbers of Jews who identity with the heretofore much larger non-Orthodox movements have declined precipitately.

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/06/12/beginning-of-the-end-for-liberal-jewry-jewish-population-greater-new-york-intermarriage/

I always find it amusing when non-Haredi extol the virtues of the Haredi whether it is Reform Jews donating to Chabad or the Podhoretz-types waxing eloquent in places like Commentary.

Do they think that the Haredi would read Commentary or let their daughters marry their sons?

"They" can be "authentic" Jews while "we" don't have to.

The bearded wonders are the fastest growing segments of the New York Jewish community.

They are fucking their way into power here just as they are in Israel.

If they didn't mooch off of the rest of us who actually work for a living, pay our fair share of taxes, report all of our income, do not take welfare, section 8 housing, food stamps, they wouldn't survive.

Because they know the system better than the Torah they pretend to love, they will continue to thrive even though this country is having a major economic downturn.

Many of them are leeches, parasites and criminals.

A woman I know who is frum, told me that she just had a new granddaughter. She added that if I wanted to give tsedakah her family could use it.

She has four kids. Each has a family of close to ten kids. Each of them needs to go to day schools, have a wedding, and, of course, a place to live. The boys must all go to Israel to learn. Then they must be supported in kollel. Then they must find good shidukhim so they can have more kids.

These creatures are fucking their way into power, living like kings on our cheshbon ( account) and laughing at the rest of us suckers.

And it will only get worse.

What I mention above is one of hundreds of thousands of examples. You do the math.

JustTheFuckwit - the point just soared over your head.

Litvish-You describe them with such precision that its even closer then one atom in measurement,the truly f their way into power youre 100 per cent right,and laughting at the rest of us suckers.

Posted by: JustTheFacts | June 13, 2012 at 06:47 PM

(Yawn) Once again- take away all those nasty liberal social services and you'll see these communities collapse.

But the Orthodox are also the source of the positive trends in the study. If the goal is Jewish continuity–as of course it should be–the Orthodox are leading the way.

How can the biologically and economically unsustainable growth of the Charedi cult be a positive thing? It is leading to the destuction of the Jewish people.

o No or little vocational education.

o No or little English literacy.

o Inadequate health and health care (dangerous MBP practices, low vaccination rates, unhealthy diet, no exercise, high rate of smoking).

o Poor socialization due to inadequate or no social mixing and also inappropriately large family sizes.

o Poverty due to excessive family size and no education.

o Reliance on welfare (unsustainable as numbers continue to increase - tax base will not be able to support it).

o Failure to be good citizens or obey laws of land.

o Generally dangerous behaviors due to fail to educate in common sense and individual responsibility or follow secular safety advice/instructions (e.g. failure to properly supervise children, poor driving skills).

*** I am sure I missed a lot.

The "Charedim" are a "modern" invention - no older than about 200 years.

Jews have traditionally been highly educated and hard and productive workers.

It is unprecedented in all of Jewish history that a large proportion of Jews fail to work, be educated or be productive members of society.

It is not the Jewish Way and it will destroy us all.

The bearded wonders are the fastest growing segments of the New York Jewish community.

The real question is why-> "the numbers of Jews who identity with the heretofore much larger non-Orthodox movements have declined precipitately."

Flawed analysis.

What you write is more a projection of your desired outcome. That's why you slip in all that subliminal advertising about leaving the religious fold. The vast numbers pining to get out is pure fantasy on your part.

Sure there is plenty of fraud just like there is in the White trash community, Black inner cities, and among the corrupt politicians of NY-NJ who milk non-profits dry.

Where you choose to miss the boat is despite all the warts on the Orthodox, no one else has a future. They either intermarry or don't have any kids.

And you've got to be kidding with your Fidler on the Roof analogy. The script comes from Shalom Aleichem and is mostly a sad story.

Now if the host and his Amen corner yell that Aryan88 is anti-Semitic scum, the irony will not be lost on anyone.

aryan88-is a brain damaged retard end of story.

Posted by: aryan88 | June 13, 2012 at 07:48 PM

Crawl back under your rock, loser.

Posted by: aryan88

Please be more specific.

We do not deal well with generalities here you pathetic loser.


Most of the Chasidim are filthy rich. In Williamsburg, for example, an average family of 8 kids enjoy many luxeries.

1) They go the country ($10,000)
2) Tuition private school ($10,000)
3) have brand new leased cars
4) pays mortgage on an apartment.( housing developments are sold out before they are even build)
5) marrying of each child (60,000-70,000 each. A shtreimal alone is $4,000)

The point is, Hasidim work the system, but stealing wont enable you live this lifestyle. Hasidem are shrewd business people who earn a nice living in the business world.

Look at Ostreicher the one who sits in Bolivian jail. He has many children and even more grandchildren. He never went to business school, yet he ran a multi million dollar business.

Gentile doctors and lawyers are educated, but they often end up employed by the Chasid who brings the lawsuit, owns the labortory, nursing home, or medical center.

of course there are many who live in poverty, yet they provide the best they have for their children. Having an unlimited amount of children is not a picnic. It's a selfless act where you commit yourself to a life of hardship but everlasting joy.

Lastly, look at what the everage chasid saves the government.
No public school, low crime rate, no chasidem are in shelters, low usage of the library. I think we save the Gov. alot of money and it pretty much evens out with what we take.

And the Hasidim keep Shmarmy enslaved to his computer. Imagine what kind of resources it would take to contain his frustration if he got off his beanbag perch and left his apt for the outside world.

With all this here talk of pie slices, I am convinced that Shmarmy blogs while listening to the soundtrack of The Jeffersons in the background.

Moving' on up ...

Gentile doctors and lawyers are educated, but they often end up employed by the Chasid who brings the lawsuit, owns the labortory, nursing home, or medical center.

Posted by: fg | June 13, 2012 at 09:44 PM

I'm not sure what you mean by that one. Are you suggesting that the chassids bring lawsuits as a business enterprize?

The welfare reforms of the late 1990's under President Clinton established a 5-year lifetime cap on all welfare benefits. How are the Haredi avoiding this limit?

Hasidem are shrewd business people who earn a nice living in the business world.

Posted by: fg | June 13, 2012 at 09:44 PM

Wow, and to think people actually say that they don't work.

Dirty old man-

is that you archie?

Gentile doctors and lawyers are educated, but they often end up employed by the Chasid who brings the lawsuit, owns the labortory, nursing home, or medical center.

Posted by: fg | June 13, 2012 at 09:44 PM

Lawsuits cost the public a fortune. The labs , nursing homes and med centers are primarily funded by medicaid.

So in fact, you really proved that your community costs the public a disproportionate amount of money.

Where you choose to miss the boat is despite all the warts on the Orthodox, no one else has a future.

Posted by: Dirty old man | June 13, 2012 at 07:45 PM

What kind of future? Most of us would rather assimilate than be like you.

You and the other frum trolls are whistling in the dark. If you really thought Shmarya was wrong, you'd simply ignore him. You aren't trying to convince us; you're attempting to convince yourselves. Exhibit A:

They either intermarry or don't have any kids.

This is, of course, bullshit.

(related to the 88 in the label aryan88)

8 is for the eighth letter of the alphabet.
So 88 stands for HH which stands for
Heil (S)hitler. Just in case you were all curious what the 88 means. Good to be aware of the "diverse" readership here too.

I don't know if any of the above commentators know the US tax system well, but I do. Our tax system is built in a way, that if you know the laws well, you can LEGALLY work it out to show you have no income in almost every business.
The abusrd system of LLCs Corps, tax deductions for the most random things, banks overseas and a billion other loopholes all add up to a system which does not work.
Haredim, not all, but many, have worked this system well, just as many of the largest corps in USA never pay taxes. This is all legal. What needs to be changed is the tax system, which will never happen. When you have a large family and are self employed it is extremely easy to qualify for medicaid, even if your sales are 1,000,000 a year.

Just Thinking: Good comment.

The fact that a Nazi scumbag trolls here shows that the deplorable chareidim commit Chillulei (plural?) Hashem. Of course, they will blame the messenger, Shmarya, and those who support him. That is a distraction from their own indefensible behavior, as is pointing out that others do it, too.

We are supposed to be Ohr l'Goyim (A light unto the nations). What kind of message are Jews sending if the most visible ones act badly?

And that's for those of you who have any descendants at all.

Thanks for enforcing the point.

Posted by: Archie Bunker | June 14, 2012 at 06:34 AM

Good on you for your great Ahavas Yisrael in consideration of all your fellow Yidden that may not have descendants due to various reasons such as infertility, inability to find a shidduch or simply that Hashem decreed so! Typical arrogant frumma! Oh didn't you know? The Rebbe had no descendants either. What did he do wrong? And what about babies and children that die before they can reproduce?

Nice one!

Well, I could see that I would be the leading suspect when someone makes a witty comment.

I see the intervening years have done nothing to enhance your intellectual prowess. You're you're too brain dead to feel any shame over the fact that years after your departure, you're still an object of contempt.

If you and your kind are all that will be left of Judaism, there's no reason to stay.

You were clueless years ago, and you're clueless now.

Frankly it wouldn't bug me in the slightest to see every last one of those government boondoggles (i.e. section 8, food stamps etc.) get thrown into the dist-heap of history.

Amen, Shmarya!

It is unprecedented in all of Jewish history that a large proportion of Jews fail to work, be educated or be productive members of society.

It is not the Jewish Way and it will destroy us all.

I read here a lot, but don't generally post. But the poverty statistics being brought up from this study kind of reminds me of what's going on in the blind community. Except we have a 70% unemployment rate, and most blind people can't get jobs due to the inaccessibility factor when it comes to most of the technology used in a lot of jobs. For instance, cash registers. If they don't talk, for instance, blind people can't use them. Except if you've ever worked, (which I was doing and very happily until I lost my job in 2009), and since I paid into the system and am living on my own and don't have kids, it limits what I can receive until I can get back on my feet and get another job. So yeah, it really does piss me off when other Jews can manage to have nice houses, food on the table regularly, and then have nice bling of the judaica variety on top of it, and be receiving benefits.

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