The End of The “New York Jew” as We Know Him?

The UJA-Federation of New York recently released a report of their $1.7m study of New York’s Jewish community, aptly titled “Jewish Community Study of New York: 2011 Comprehensive Report.” Hold onto your kippah. The results may shock you.

When it comes to the findings of the report, I’ve got some good news and some bad news. First, the good. This last decade the Jewish population of New York has been on the rise again after a several decade decline. We’re still not where I’d like to see us (according to the report, “By 1920 or so, the Jewish population expanded [to] fully 29% of the city’s population,”) but we have gained about 100,000 tribesman, which is nothing to sneeze at.

And now, the less than good. This population growth is mostly because of an explosion of Haredim due to a birthrate three times as high as any other type of Jew.

The report explains the “implications:”

In particular, three features of the two fervently Orthodox groups — Yeshivish and Hasidic, often collectively known as the Haredim — have significant implications for the future of New York Jewry.

First, the high birthrate of Haredi Jews (at least three times that associated with non-Orthodox Jewish New Yorkers) suggests that this population is likely to grow even larger in the future. Second, the Haredim are known to be self-segregated and relatively disconnected from the rest of the Jewish community. Third, relatively high poverty combined with large and growing families suggests that their economic stress is likely to increase in the future.

A New York populated by poor, conservative Jews who actually believe in God? It’s like some terrible dystopian future I’d never imagined. What kind of New York will this be?

From now on when I hear a crazy writing on the internet or protesting at the Davos World Economic Forum harangue against “New York Jews” I’m just not sure how I’ll feel. Yes, I suppose I’ll still get that warm flush of pride like I always do because I’ll still know he’s  referring to wealthy, liberal, elitist, greedy, media-controlling Jews. But, part of me will want to sit him down and explain: “Dear sir, how are we supposed to control the media on the approximately $65,000 median household income this report claims we New York Jews now make?”

Most importantly, how are we supposed to fund $1.7m studies of ourselves if this trend continues?

What do you think?

About The Author

Jewda MaccaHeeb

I'm Jewish. I write. Get over it already.

8 Responses

  1. Tsivia

    This article is a reactionary observation-reminds me of Right-wing talk shows. Focus on the facts and leave the fear mongering behind. Yeesh. So negative.

  2. Jeff

    A New York populated by poor, conservative Jews who actually believe in God? It’s like some terrible dystopian future I’d never imagined. What kind of New York will this be?

    I don’t mind that they’re poor. I don’t mind that they believe in God.

    That’s all I got.

    • Jeff

      “Excellent! I hope it is up to 99% Orthodox by 2025 or so.”

      Really? And who is going to support all of you?

      Whatever else may be said of the Orthodox, good or bad, this much cannot be denied – you love to gloat. It’s what you fucking LIVE for.

  3. Gila

    If you are wrong, and you gloat, you just look stupid. If you are right and you gloat (and that probably means that the person in the right is merely stating their side and it looks like gloating, because they are right) then you’re a jerk. So gloating aside, if you just look at the truth and hear it from the humble, well then, it will be easier to hear. It’s like Terri Gross on NPR: just because she is so calm, doesn’t mean she is right.

  4. Jeff

    “It’s like Terri Gross on NPR: just because she is so calm, doesn’t mean she is right.”

    No, of course not. She’s a Liberal; they’re never right. (That was sarcasm, which I know frum people have a hard time recognizing.)

    “So gloating aside, if you just look at the truth and hear it from the humble”

    The truth is that the Orthodox are destroying themselves, yet that doesn’t prevent them from living in a triumphal delusion: “Our numbers are increasing! Your grandchildren won’t be Jewish!” Meanwhile, their society is collapsing. In addition to the various scandals, they can no longer support their growing numbers. They don’t educate their children, and their society needs only so many mashgiachim and purveyors of holy seforim.

    You people continue to confuse quantity with quality.

  5. Too Orthodox Even for the NY GOP | Heeb

    […] and making sure that Jewish kids didn’t have to pray in their cushy suburban public schools.  As the results of the recent Jewish population survey in NYC suggest, however, the Jews–and … and, as NY State’s GOP recently learned, the old rules don’t apply.  On paper, of […]

  6. D. Malin

    This is hardly anything to be proud of. While the rest of the world is advancing itself in all areas, these religious homophobes continue to drain resources and prevent their children from progressing beyond Stone Age notions of chosenness, mythology and deeply engrained racism. They are no different than other fanatic religious groups in their delusions of superiority and salvation and should be treated like any other dangerous cult. The haredi are hardly a light upon New York or any place they “thrive”.


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