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!
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • 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.