One of the poorest cities in America
• One of America's poorest cities
Let's start with dry facts: 59% of the population of the city lives below the official poverty line. 93% of residents receive state Medicaid insurance, which put people with low incomes (for comparison, in the doldrums Newburgh, only 33 per cent of residents receive such insurance). 57% of the inhabitants of this city get the Food Stamp Benefits (non-cash money that can be spent only on food). 99, 2% of the population of the city are white, but only about 8% of residents speak English at home. About half of the residents speak in English poorly or do not speak at all.
In the city there are no slums, no abandoned buildings, there is homeless and other problems inherent in the poorest places. And there is virtually no crime. So what is this place something?
The city is in the state of New York, in Monroe County, just an hour's drive from Manhattan. Many of this place is known for a large outlet mall, which is located in neighboring Woodbury. The city is quite young, he founded in 1977 and is called Kiryas Joel. Name, frankly, not very characteristic of America. This is not surprising, since the city was founded and inhabited satmarskimi Hasidim and named in honor of Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum - their religious leader. In his appeal of the community moved from Brooklyn in Williamsburg, New York, to be away from the sins and temptations of the big city. Teitelbaum held that, if not to create conditions of self-isolation, the Jews would lose their spiritual aspect, its culture and its identity. Self-isolation should therefore be more rigid. Now, it is surrounded by hills, forests and fences they build a life according to the Torah laws, strictly enforce all rules and regulations on the part of both local residents and visitors.
In 1977, in the area lived only 14 Hasidim. Currently, about 23,000 people live in Kiryas Joel and the number of its inhabitants continues to rise steadily. According to the 2011 Kiryas Joel was the poorest city in the United States among the settlements, where more than 10,000 people. More recent data on this subject I have not our own, but I'm sure that even if the city and dropped in the ranking of the poorest cities in America, is not much. In this community satmarskih Hasidim is the most influential and richest Hasidic community in the world. According to the Washington Post, it controls a variety of companies and real estate, valued at more than $ 1 billion. Outwardly, the city does not look like a place where poor people live: neat rows of neat houses with parked next is not the cheapest cars. Walk the streets brand new eco-friendly buses, and large office buildings envy of any regional center.
There is a problem with garbage (it a lot on the streets), but it is in any Hasidic neighborhood. Hasidim it did not pay any attention. In the photo path leading to the lake, where the Sabbath romantic young couples stroll. The track runs through the trees and piles of debris.
The median household income in Kiryas Joel is 24 430 dollars. This is two times lower than the national average ($ 53,657) and 12,000 lower than in the county. There are several reasons.
Firstly, the size of Hasidic families: the average is 6 guests (two parents + 4 children). Is not rare families in which children 8-10. A large number of children makes Kiryas Joel youngest city in America. The average age of its inhabitants is only 12 years old. The second reason - it is the specificity of the social structure of Hasidic families in which the wife of almost all his life engaged in the house and children, and the husband earns money only. With so many dependent on the shoulders of the working spouse is not surprising fall into the category of the poor. Thirdly, the specifics themselves Hasidim, who are not averse to cheat the state in order to receive social benefits.
The major fraud schemes more:
1. We conclude religious marriage, but do not register their relationship at the state level. As a result, a woman becomes a large single mother with a bunch of benefits entitlement.
2. Do not pay property taxes arguing that their house has a synagogue (church and other buildings of worship are exempt from the tax). To this end, they pray each time in a new building wraps around the entire community. As a result, the county's budget does not receive the money that is spent on the financing of schools, road repairs, maintenance of water supply and sewerage systems for firefighters and the police, but the main thing - to social benefits, which are actively Hasidim. 3. Do not show their real incomes and therefore do not pay taxes in full. Most of the works in the Hasidic companies where practiced salaries in envelopes and other concealment of income scheme (vehicle registration for the company, and so on. D.). Therefore, according to the documents they may be poverty and golodranyu, but to live a perfectly normal life.
4. cheated with insurance, credit and social benefits, processing payments for non-existent or even dead people.
The state knows about all this, and occasionally catches a particularly arrogant members of the community. Unfortunately, violations are much more widespread, but the government is not particularly Hasidic climb in the case, as those have money and political influence. No, they do not have their own policies, but they can give a lot of money in the election fund and, more importantly, can provide a large number of votes in the elections.
They also like to play the theme of anti-Semitism as a blow directed at them: we want to punish, not because we have something wrong doing, but because they do not like Jews!
Problems in the community they decide exclusively by means of religious courts, who make the punishment for certain offenses. Their opinion on a particular issue is often at odds with the views of the government, as it is based on religious laws and not the laws in the United States. One Hasid once arrested for raping a boy, so the other came out and demanded to be released. Journalist asks manifesto: how is it that he's raping your children, and you want to let it go? And those to him, yes, he's a bastard, but he's also a Jew, and the Jew should not be in prison. Give it to us and we shall understand ourselves.
The city has two bus routes that serve the brand new buses. They are financed from the Community budget.
The bus stop.
This is a bus that goes to Jewish areas of New York. The route has a state license and is subsidized by the state. Inside, as in vnutregorodskom segregation: women traveling separately from men.
In the Hasidic very low level of education: only 39% of the population have finished all 12 classes and only 5% have higher education. Without exception, all the children go to religious schools - Yeshiva, where he studied Torah, Yiddish and a little bit of everything else. As a result, a significant portion of the community speaks in English is very bad. But everything is fine they say in Yiddish. The education system, as well as many other things in life Hasidim, is part of the policy of self-isolation. With such luggage of knowledge, abilities and skills they simply can not survive in the ordinary world.
It is an important part of the Hasidim is decency. It is expressed in a strict dress code when they all go only legally prescribed clothing and cover almost the entire body. Men all year round wear white shirts, black trousers, coats and hats. The monotony of a man's suit a little diluted with Saturday, when they put on a large fur hats. Women are required to wear a wig or a scarf that covers their hair short, and can not wear anything tight, bright or provocative. In the wardrobe only soothing colors, long skirts and thick granny stockings with arrows. Such clothing is designed to get rid of unwanted thoughts and impulses. Bright colors can be found only in children.
House of the poor.
Mercedes pictured clearly stray. Most likely it belongs to guest workers who build, repair and maintain homes. I never saw the Hasidim in the German car. Basically, they go to the Japanese minivans. During this in New York, the Honda Odyssey Honda klichut Moses.
The street of one of the poorest cities in America. Kiryas Joel - one of the few American cities, where there is no television. Hasidim do not watch TV, do not go to the movies and do not read secular books. Internet, they also do not enjoy. On the cell phone (model approved by the rabbi) can only call. Even you can not send a text message.
New houses for the poor. All this misery it is impossible to watch without tears.
Delivery of kosher food.
In the Hasidic very strict gender segregation. Women and men are separated from childhood. This applies to public transport, schools, synagogues and even streets.
A sign forbidding women to enter the school grounds for the boys. So they are going through in this respect, that even in the Russian wrote:
A few years ago in the city opened a large playground, the news of which has bypassed all the local media. The fact that the city has declined from 195 000 dollars, which gave the state its construction. The unprecedented action by the Chassidim! And why? Yes, because the ground in a difficult and was built under the strict supervision of the Committee of decency. Is there such an influential body in local government. Children of different sexes to play it in different areas and do not overlap with each other. Would take money from the state - would have to comply with the standards, where no segregation can not be. And as a private area and its own rules. Total area into four zones: one for boys and one for girls, and the third for boys with fathers and fourth, it is not difficult to guess for girls with their mothers. That is shared not only by children, but even their parents. What dad whose daughter alone - I do not understand.
The zones are not just separated and are color identification: blue for boys, and red for girls.
At the entrance to the city you are met by a sign, according to local regulations. This is another creation of the Committee of decency. Text on it to confound any untrained person. Especially arrived from New York, where the main rule - is the lack of rules. Within the city you can only wear a long skirt or pants. No cuts in the area of the collar is not allowed. Sleeves should cover the elbows. It is necessary to speak only well and be sure to comply with gender segregation in all public places. At the end you have to thank for to show their respect for the values and offer to enjoy the visit.
Enjoy the visit you are likely to fail. Especially if you drove there on Saturday. Then you will all be looked upon as the main enemy of the Jewish people, who with his presence defiles the local streets. May even something to throw your way. I, unfortunately, was lucky to be there for the first time on that day. No one threw, but the atmosphere of the "kindness and friendliness" and was filled completely.
If you decide to take a walk with fotikom the city, then you probably also have a problem. I think you will very quickly get acquainted with the local police, called "social security". They seem to be, and not the police, but actually very even. Most likely, the first counter-Hasid report of a man with a camera on the radio and soon the street will machine with flashing lights and a green stripe. Next you will be asked questions and be asked to leave. To phrases such as "then America or elsewhere?" They will be deaf. It says that you can only shoot with the permission of the rabbi. And no resolution - Come on, goodbye! Guglomobil, removing stritvyu, could pass through here just a couple of blocks away. Then he was spotted, braked and driven out of the city.
I'm also not a lot of pictures. Rolled a couple of laps, I took off the video and clicked out of the car. And shoot there, to be honest, there is nothing - city to be extremely dull and monotonous. A Hasidic possible in Williamsburg pofotkat. There they are accustomed to humans and do not rush. Especially because they are exactly the same as if they were in one factory produce cloning.
Public Safety Cars Kiryas Joel. It is interesting that by the laws of the city local women are forbidden to drive cars:
Another of the interesting facts: community satmarskih Hasidim are extremely negative attitude towards the State of Israel, as their leaders believe that the creation of a Jewish state before the coming of the Messiah is a serious violation of the Torah. Therefore, they are strong allies of Palestine. School buses carry Hasidic children home after school. Many children, so buses are caravans.
out of town are arranged so that you can not accidentally come out. Fence goes up to the roadway and on it hang warning signs.