Photo Credit:
Williamsburg

But questions remain. Does this really address the poverty problem that is so rampant among Satmar and Hasidim with similar hashkafos? It does address one issue – housing. But only for those who can scrape up the money for a down payment and monthly mortgage. What percentage of Hasidim are actually able to do this? And for those who are able – where do they find the money to pay for other expenses incurred by their increased family size. Expenses for food, clothing, and education for a large family (of 10 – a fairly common family size in Williamsburg) is taxing even on families with good incomes.

Even though I admire the way this community has sought and found a partial solution to the housing problem for their growing public, I think most families are a long way from being able to live anything but a modest and in some cases a near impoverished lifestyle – relying heavily on charity, welfare, and who knows what else. Even if they live in one of these new housing units.

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So kudos to Satmar for succeeding to some extent in solving one major problem. But they have a long way to go in my not so humble opinion.

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Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at hmaryles@yahoo.com.

1 COMMENT

  1. Setting aside some "affordable" units for residents whom have lived in the area, regardless of ethnic, racial, or religious affiliation, would be a good thing to do. Thus preserving the character of the Williamsburgh I grew up in during the 1950's and 60's..

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