UJA-Federation study highlights New York’s growing and declining Jewish neighborhoods, and the sharp differences among them.
The Jewish population in the Washington Heights/Inwood communities on the northern tip of Manhattan has soared by 144 percent since 2002, while Suffolk County, with a 4 percent decrease in Jews during that time, is the only suburban county in the region to experience a Jewish population loss.
Quick, what’s the fastest growing part of the Jewish community, or at least the New York metro area’s Jewish community? Orthodox? They’re growing, but not the fastest. Conservative? Nah. Reform? Not anymore. Reconstructionist? Nope.
According to the recently released study of the NY Jewish community, the group that has doubled its share of the community, growing from just 15% to a whopping 37% is [drum roll, please]…OTHER. That’s right, “other”. [Source: Jewish Community Study of New York, page 121].
We are living in a time when 20th-century Jewish institutions are being challenged by the forces of the 21st century. A speaker at the recent Jewish Futures conference invoked the metaphor of the “brick hitting the cloud.” Participants were implored to smash idols — 20th-century institutions — in the name of reinventing Jewish community. Of course smashing these idols involves dissolution of the “establishment,” including federations.