Brooklyn Activists: Building With Big Apartments Designed for Ultra-Orthodox by the Forward

Brooklyn Activists: Building With Big Apartments Designed for Ultra-Orthodox

Image by Facebook

The plans for a 1,146-unit apartment complex in South Williamsburg have reopened a debate within the neighborhood’s diverse community over who gets the best affordable housing. Some residents fear that the Rabsky Group’s eight-building development will have a sizable number of multi-bedroom apartments — a layout that they say privileges large ultra-Orthodox families over smaller Hispanic families.

Leaders of the neighborhood’s Hispanic community discussed their concerns about the Rabsky Group project at a community board meeting on Tuesday.

“It’s a segregated rezoning. The city has participated in creating a segregated community through rezoning. How is that right?” Robert Solano, a Williamsburg resident and the head of Churches United for Fair Housing, told DNAInfo. “I walk through the Broadway Triangle rezoning [every day]. Don’t tell me it’s inclusive.”

Despite strong disagreement from community members, the measure to rezone the 200 block of Harrison Avenue for the Rabsky Group development passed 25-15.

According to the Pew Research center, ultra-Orthodox families have about four children on average. The Population Research Institute reported that Hispanic families have slightly below four children on average, though it noted that Hispanic family size is decreasing.

“It’s perceived that it’s a Jewish project because it has a Jewish developer,” Rabbi David Niederman, head of United Jewish Organizations, said of the Rabsky Group project. The company is co-owned by two Jewish men. “This is a project that is going to be [a place] where African Americans, Latinos live next door to each other in wonderful relationships.”

Contact Ari Feldman at or on Twitter @aefeldman.


Ari Feldman

Ari Feldman

Ari Feldman is a staff writer at the Forward. He covers Jewish religious organizations, synagogue life, anti-Semitism and the Orthodox world. If you have any tips, you can email him at Follow him on Twitter @aefeldman.

Brooklyn Activists: Building Will Worsen Segregation

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires 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 and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. 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 Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Brooklyn Activists: Building With Big Apartments Designed for Ultra-Orthodox

Thank you!

This article has been sent!