Skirting Code: Many buildings in the Hasidic enclave of New Square, N.Y., were not built to fire code specifications.

In Hasidic New Square, No Danger of Close Primary Election

Jewish voters are all over the map when it comes to their plans for voting in New York’s presidential primary on April 19.

Except for New Square, the all-Hasidic village of 8,000 in Rockland County, about 30 miles north of Manhattan. In this insular haredi Orthodox community led by the Skverer rebbe, David Twersky, many residents simply wait for voting instructions from the kehilla, the body that supervises communal affairs.

“We make a bloc vote,” said one Hasidic man who requested anonymity. “Whatever they say, we vote. It’s not for us to decide. The kehilla decides.”

Though this community is devoted in large part to keeping the outside world at arm’s length – the entrance to the village is marked by a “No outlet” sign – on Election Day New Square residents take their civic responsibility very seriously, from yeshiva students to mothers commandeering infants in double strollers.

“We feel we do something to help the whole community when we vote,” said the Hasidic man, who was interviewed in the basement of the village’s main yeshiva study hall. “All the politicians know how it goes in New Square.”

As of last Friday, community members said, the kehilla committee had instructed registered Democrats to vote for Hillary Clinton but had yet to announce its candidate in the Republican contest. Except for New Square, the all-Hasidic village of 8,000 in Rockland County, about 30 miles north of Manhattan. In this insular haredi Orthodox community led by the Skverer rebbe, David Twersky, many residents simply wait for voting instructions from the kehilla, the body that supervises communal affairs.

“We make a bloc vote,” said one Hasidic man who requested anonymity. “Whatever they say, we vote. It’s not for us to decide. The kehilla decides.”

Though this community is devoted in large part to keeping the outside world at arm’s length – the entrance to the village is marked by a “No outlet” sign – on Election Day New Square residents take their civic responsibility very seriously, from yeshiva students to mothers commandeering infants in double strollers.

“We feel we do something to help the whole community when we vote,” said the Hasidic man, who was interviewed in the basement of the village’s main yeshiva study hall. “All the politicians know how it goes in New Square.”

As of last Friday, community members said, the kehilla committee had instructed registered Democrats to vote for Hillary Clinton but had yet to announce its candidate in the Republican contest.

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JTA

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In Hasidic New Square, No Danger of Close Primary Election

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