Searching for ZIP: 07732 in Lakewood
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Name: John | Age: 32 | Gender: Male | ZIP: 07732 | Resident for: more than 10 years | Added at: 2006-11-08
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I keep hearing that Lakewood used to be a great town, but I guess I was too young to remember this. The town is now practically run by one of the largest Hasidic communities in the US. Why is this a negative aspect for the town? The community cares only for itself and nothing for those around them or for the town itself. They have no problems harassing others who don’t “belong”, which is just about everybody. They seem to have two major stratifies for assimilating an area:
1) Homes and land: The community will begin to move into an area by buying homes outright. Sometimes even in cash. (The community pools its money, kind of like their own bank.) People usually sell pretty quickly because of this and a second, and more sinister, reason. Once an area is about 80% Hasidic it’s very rare to find someone from outside the community willing to move in. The community begins to harass whoever is left to sell their houses. Even to the point of calling the police for mowing your lawn on a Saturday because it’s too loud. (And, their holy day.) Then, because no one else is going to move in the community can set the price. In other words, not only do they force you out, but they tell you what they’re going to buy your house for. Not only that, but they will also buy the property under their church. This means, under NJ Law, they no longer have to pay property taxes on it. So, the slack in property taxes is taken up by everyone else outside their community. (How the state can allow this practice is beyond me.)
2) Businesses: This is something we’ve seen happen to three restaurants in and around Lakewood. First the community will pack a restaurant every single weekend. They’ll do this to the point where almost no one else will be able to get a table due to the crowd. First they’ll be pretty polite, but after a few weeks they’ll start pulling waiters off other tables to be sure only they get the good service. The next step is to demand of the owners that they put in a kosher kitchen. Since the community is now 90% of their business, the owners usually agree pretty quickly. (Installing a kosher kitchen is very expensive.) Once the kitchen is installed, the community demands that the owners sell the restaurant to them. The owners will usually refuse. (This is usually their livelihood and dream after all.) The next day, not a single person will show up to eat. The community black-balls the restaurant, and since it is now known that you can’t get a seat, almost no one else shows up either. This, combined with the debt from putting in a kosher kitchen, will bankrupt the restaurant pretty quickly. After the restaurant goes bankrupt, there’s nothing stopping the community from buying it at a very low cost.
In short, they care for their own kind and no one else matters to them. Most of their practices are selfish, dishonorable, and greedy. And, since they build/create their own schools to “teach” their own children, the community always votes down the school budgets, which destroys the quality of public learning in the area. And, once the have enough influence to gain control of the local government (aka. Lakewood) things get worse. Their streets are always plowed first, but yours can wait a day. They get building and addition permits very quickly, and yours either gets denied or has to go through three years of red tape. They can literally assimilate an entire town and destroy it for their own means piece by piece, and the law backs them every step of the way.