The Fast-Shifting Map of Jewish New York

Population Dips in Old Strongholds, Explodes in New Ones

Shifts and Surprises: A new study pinpoints where New York’s Jewish population is growing fast and where its stagnant or shrinking. There are some big surprises.
claudio papapietro
Shifts and Surprises: A new study pinpoints where New York’s Jewish population is growing fast and where its stagnant or shrinking. There are some big surprises.

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Published January 18, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

Brownstone Brooklyn and Boro Park are just a couple of miles each other in South Brooklyn. Their Jewish communities, according to a new report from the UJA-Federation of New York, couldn’t be more different.

In Boro Park, the vast majority of Jews are Orthodox and only 1% are intermarried. In Brownstone Brooklyn, 59% are intermarried and less than 1% are Orthodox.

The differences run deeper than religious preference. Brownstone Brooklyn’s Jews are rich: Nearly half of Jewish households earn more than $100,000 a year. Not so in Boro Park, where 68% of households earn less than $50,000 a year

New York’s Jewish community is split into radically distinct, quickly changing clusters, the UJA report out January 17 determined. The study, a neighborhood-level analysis of a landmark survey the group conducted in 2011, shows the largest Jewish community of its kind in rapid flux.

In Manhattan’s old Jewish neighborhoods, the Jews are dying out. Jewish populations downtown are shrinking. Growth is stagnant on the Upper West Side.

Orthodox Brooklyn, meanwhile, is exploding. The Jewish population in the Hasidic neighborhood of Boro Park grew 71% over the past decade. And in Queens, a neighborhood of Jewish immigrants from the Former Soviet Union grew by 47%.

The community is still huge. Many of its individual neighborhoods have more Jews than some mid-sized American cities. “[T]here are as many Jewish households on Manhattan’s Upper West Side…as there are Jewish households in Cleveland,” said Pearl Beck, the report’s main author, in an emailed statement.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.