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Average Ratings:
Artisticness: 2.0    Calmness: 2.0    Helpfulness: 2.7   
Intellectualness: 4.0    Neatness: 1.7    Outgoingness: 2.0   
Average Resident Personality Test Scores:
Artisticness: 2.83    Calmness: 3.00    Helpfulness: 2.95   
Intellectualness: 3.37    Neatness: 3.21    Outgoingness: 3.10   


Name: John | Age: 32 | Gender: Male | ZIP: 07732 | Resident for: more than 10 years | Added on: 2006-11-08
Artisticness: 3   Calmness: 2   Helpfulness: 2   Intelligence: 4   Neatness: 2   Outgoingness: 2   
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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.

Name: | Age: 21 | Gender: Male | ZIP: 44118 | Resident for: more than 10 years | Added on: 2007-01-23
Artisticness: 2   Calmness: 3   Helpfulness: 5   Intelligence: 5   Neatness: 2   Outgoingness: 1   
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What do you like about Lakewood?
many things,1st off -no one comes to a resturaunt and then demands a kosher kitchen be put in and then blackballs it to be able to buy it
orthodox jews cant eat from a shop unless there is an already kosher kitchen with a full time person making sure it is to the laws and standards of kosher.

-i had non jewish neighbors and we got along just fine .my culture is different but we both got along very well,noone is pushing anyone out of their houses.of course there are things that the community needs to fix,but that is not any different than any other community in the world .ORHODOX JEWS IN PARTICULAR,NEED TO LIVE TOGETHER FOR MANY REASONS,SYNAGOGUES,SCHoOLS,KOSHER SHOPPING AND TO HAVE AN ORTHODOX SURROUNDING .so it is not about pushing people out.i would say it is about having a close community that would pay that price to have that lifestyle.
-as far as schools go
why would one vote to pay more money for services that dont have any benifit to them.
if you would,i dont think that is very intelligent.
you vote for your needs.
also there is a tremendous misconception to think that the jews are all rich.
i would say that more than 70% that live in lakewood are far from that.i know this for a fact.i am probably even being very liberal about the number.it is probably even more than that.but like you said ,this community takes care of their people and there is tremendous charity help and other programs that make this community thrive.
because of this ,i find it difficult for people to vote more taxes on things that have no benifit for themselves.
i would suggest that every community should learn from this one,and take care of its own.if every community would do that,this world would be a better place.

what do you dislike about Lakewood?

there are those people who will never understand these issues in this light
and it can cause tremendous rifts between people.i think that there needs to be more dialogue between everyone and all people would
feel a difference.there would be less negativity and more understanding between each other.

What are your favorite parts of the city to live and/or hang out in?
i like the lake too.it is a very calming experience every time i am there

How expensive is it?
in general lakewood is an expensive place to live
because of the supply and demand rule.
when there is fewer places of choice then the item will obviously be more expensive.like i said before,because the orthodox need to live together,it makes their choices of living much less than a nother person who is not an orthodox jew.

Is it safe?

in the jewish community
there is always influences from the larger society
but one thing i can assure you,compared to the rest of the world,lakewood is extremely safe,thefts ,drugs,crimes,murder,you hardly even hear of it in the orthodox part of the community.and when it does happen,it is the biggest news of the town. many other places
these things are daily and constant occurances.

How is the weather?
northeast, what can you expect.in the summer it is beautiful.

Additional thoughts?i think instead of looking for things that are not to a persons liking in any particular community,we should try and be more understanding of everything that goes in for that thought process.there are and will always be people who practice what they are supposed to do,and there r those that unfortunately that dont.we all have to realize what effects that can have on other people.
this goes for jews and gentiles alike.

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