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New York - Movement To Halt Expansion Of Bungalows And Orthodox Jewish Vacationers In Sullivan County Underway

Published on: July 8, 2015 09:05 PM
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FILE photo - Kids play in Sullivan County at one of the bungalow Colonies (Eli Wohl/VINnews.com)FILE photo - Kids play in Sullivan County at one of the bungalow Colonies (Eli Wohl/VINnews.com)

New York - In response to the increasing number of Orthodox Jews frequenting bungalows in Fallsburg during the summer months, the Town has passed new zoning regulations to make it less inviting for families, reports The Jewish Week (http://bit.ly/1IKn0up ).

The legislation is clear about its purpose: “It is the intent of the Town of Fallsburg to not promote the expansion of bungalow colonies.”

Under the new zoning legislation, replacement cabins cannot be bigger than the previous cabin; a colony can only be built on less than 15 percent of its lot; there must be 250 feet between the road and the cabin (an increase of 75 feet); and 31 feet of grass is now required between cabins as well. Other towns such as Mamakating, Bethel, Thompson and Liberty have followed suit, enacting similar zoning laws.

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A year-round Jewish resident of Fallsburg explained the attitude of the locals, saying, “There’s a distinct attitude – the town wishes someone else would come.” The meta-message is the locals want people who are not Orthodox, the resident said. Such sentiments have been expressed by the town’s planning board. “Without any embarrassment, they say that. I stopped going to the planning board because I’m kind of disgusted.” Another long-time Orthodox resident and business owner, Murray Goldwag, who has traveled to South Fallsburg each summer for 39 years, said, “Nothing’s changed. The goyim don’t want the Jewish interference. . . .”

Some 77,547 residents live in Sullivan County year-round. Ten percent are Jewish. But when summer rolls around, those numbers quadruple with Jews returning to their summer homes, Orthodox bungalow colonies, and close to 100 Orthodox summer camps. Sullivan County’s Economic Development Corporation claims the summer population “can reach 300,000 at its peak,” as is evidenced by 15 Orthodox minyanim each morning every 20 minutes, with more at night, as well as, 11 mikvahs and a 500-page Orthodox phone directory.

Yet once the summer ends, the bungalows and summer homes empty out, rendering the local counties a ghost town for another 10 months. Now, year-round residents are calling for a permanent end to bungalows. “It would be better to attract new middle-class families with good, affordable year-round housing” where people would “commute to New York City instead of just visiting for the summer.” Moreover, there are concerns that the wooden bungalows are fire hazards and aesthetically unattractive.  “Enough is enough,” said Monticello attorney Steve Kurlander. “There are enough bungalows in the Catskills as it is.”

In an interview with Newsweek, one non-Jewish resident said the zoning fight in Bloomingburg is about, “All these chasids have their own private places around here. They’ve got their own camps and s—t . . . and they pull off their drug deals. And the state police can’t go on the properties because they’re ‘religious.’ That’s where all the f———deals take place. You know what I’m saying?”

At least one Fallsburg real estate agent came to the defense of the Jews and their bungalows, saying, “The Orthodox community, that’s who’s buying. They pay taxes, even though they don’t use the schools or any facilities other than water and sewer. They pay a lot of money into the town, so why give them a hard time?” In fact, tax revenues increase to more than a million dollars during the summer when the Jews are in town, but locals still say they prefer to shop on Saturdays while the Jews are not clogging their roadways and are observing the Sabbath.

Prior to the mass exodus to the mountains this summer, a letter was distributed in the Orthodox community warning people to be sensitive  to all those “who live here all year-round that are not accustomed to the heimeshe city way of life. They are used to a quiet, country atmosphere, and are not overly excited about the changes that the summer brings. They are not aware of the sweetness of the Torah way, and when they look at us, they have no way of seeing the inner beauty of a Torah Jew. . . . We are quick to be branded as unwelcome intruders. . . .Whether driving, shopping, out at the park. . . . let’s not leave room to be accused of anything improper. . . .Nobody wants — chas v’sholom to make a chillul Hashem, but without a little precaution it is often automatic. . . .”

Goldwag says he understands the resentment. “It’s just the standard ‘We hate the Jews who come up here.’ Why? Well, in one shot, you move Williamsburg and Boro Park into the Catskills. They’ll triple-park anywhere, speed through crosswalks, pick up hitchhikers in the middle of the road, make U-turns on Route 42 – chutzpadik and dangerous . . . others are not respectful of the locals. . . .so you hear [when the season begins], ‘Oh, they’re coming back again.”


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Read Comments (33)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jul 08, 2015 at 09:54 PM ydeneydene Says:

Nothing wrong. Monroe is more of an issue. Vacation area could be anywhere else too.

2

 Jul 08, 2015 at 09:58 PM monseyvn Says:

Seriously???? When Donald Trump says a racist comment like this, he gets bombarded by the mayor his chef and by every little nothing out there.
But when somebody says that orthodox Jews are drug dealers it's silent SSSSHHHHH!#!! No comment.
Let us make a boycott and stop buying outside of Jewish stores she lets see what they'll say

3

 Jul 08, 2015 at 10:59 PM TexasJew Says:

Why not have KJ take over the whole town?

5

 Jul 08, 2015 at 11:01 PM sane Says:

" they have no way of seeing the inner beauty of a Torah Jew" - what do you mean by that? If you act the way you are supposed to outwardly, then the inner beauty would show. If you conduct yourself in a loud, brash, know-it-all manner and are palpably disdainful of the locals - what do you expect and what is the good and purpose of the so-called inner beauty?

6

 Jul 08, 2015 at 11:16 PM Anonymous Says:

it reminds me of France and other European countries. they didn't care about the financial benefits that the jews we're bringing their hate made him to want all the jews out. They took in the Muslims instead.

The rest is history
The rest is history..

7

 Jul 08, 2015 at 11:27 PM ydeneydene Says:

Chilul hashem is an issue. If you have to double park for pizza and supermarket, it is very annoying to local people. You should put your self in their shoe

8

 Jul 08, 2015 at 11:43 PM jdl Says:

#6 well said!

9

 Jul 09, 2015 at 12:18 AM Wannabe Says:

Can we blame them? We have to be more empathetic to the locals. They live there year round with peace and quiet and when we come with our gogo city mentality, it can turn the pristine mountains into NYC 2.0

We need to act responsibly and respectively to everyone.

10

 Jul 09, 2015 at 12:32 AM Israeli Says:

Move to Israel. It's summer 8 months of the year, plenty of poor housing in B'nei Braq & Meah Shearim, and everyone speeds. You'll all feel right at home.

11

 Jul 09, 2015 at 01:03 AM aleph Says:

When these "heilige" locals start talking about secret drug deals taking place in "religious" bungalow colonies as if they were located in some no man's land under no jurisdiction -- screaming don't give them ammunition seems to be barking up the wrong tree. Anti-Semites don't need truth for their propaganda, we rile them up by simply existing no matter how "properly" we behave. Remember Germany, they sure loved us there for being nice and cultured. Oy, I almost forgot, they called us dirty swine...

12

 Jul 09, 2015 at 01:25 AM hashomer Says:

Sad to say many properties in Sullivan are run down and dirty. Broken fences, trash everywhere, heaps of rotten building materials, a mess. I live not far from the traditionalist Mennonite community (related to the Amish) in Rifton, Ulster Co., and it is absolutely spotless, everyone works, and they are good neighbors. I cringe when driving thru Sullivan in the summer.

13

 Jul 09, 2015 at 02:35 AM bigwheeel Says:

Reply to #9  
Wannabe Says:

Can we blame them? We have to be more empathetic to the locals. They live there year round with peace and quiet and when we come with our gogo city mentality, it can turn the pristine mountains into NYC 2.0

We need to act responsibly and respectively to everyone.

Your points are well taken. But the fact remains that the local inhabitants make a fine living during those two months from the Chasidic summer residents Sometimes they earn so much money that could last them for the rest of the year. The only thing that the summer residents of the Catskills get in return is disrespect, rejection and hate.
Maybe the hated Chasids should just send their checks and stay home in Brooklyn...!

14

 Jul 09, 2015 at 03:15 AM BarryLS1 Says:

Reply to #9  
Wannabe Says:

Can we blame them? We have to be more empathetic to the locals. They live there year round with peace and quiet and when we come with our gogo city mentality, it can turn the pristine mountains into NYC 2.0

We need to act responsibly and respectively to everyone.

Absolutely correct.

The locals do benefit from the summer economically, but we have to be careful not to make a Chillul Hashem, which happens all the time.

Years ago, when we were in the Catskills, it was aggravating to see the behaviors. People do things without thinking of the impact it has on others. While it is not intentional, it is selfish and a Chillul Hashem.

There is another side of the issue when it comes to zoning laws prohibiting growth. Can the infra-structure handle the traffic, etc? It was rough back then, I can only imagine how it is now.

15

 Jul 09, 2015 at 05:51 AM fat36 Says:

Reply to #9  
Wannabe Says:

Can we blame them? We have to be more empathetic to the locals. They live there year round with peace and quiet and when we come with our gogo city mentality, it can turn the pristine mountains into NYC 2.0

We need to act responsibly and respectively to everyone.

They will never get that or understand that that bully attitude will never change

16

 Jul 09, 2015 at 07:44 AM whaleboy Says:

Here is some perspective: for the average resident of Sullivan County, there is no direct benefit to having the bungalow colonies. Most Orthodox do NOT purchase from local stores, rather they frequent Walmart and Shoprite (of which only a minute percent benefit from) while the bulk of their other purchases are made in Jewish stores. The fact that the bungalow colonies exist, in their minds prevents higher class permanent residents from moving in.

17

 Jul 09, 2015 at 09:13 AM Insider Says:

The time has arrived for us to give all of our business to heimishe businesses ONLY !!!!
If they don't like us, surely they don't like our money either, so why share it with them. That means that everything we need, whether its gas, tire repairs, or anything else, make sure its a heimishe establishment that's at the receiving end.
No new bungalows? Guess what, no new business for you, pal.
Every handyman should have payos and tzitzis.
Thirsty? Make sure the soda that you're buying is from a machine owned by a heimishe Yid.
Guess what! Life is a two way street. What goes around, comes around.

18

 Jul 09, 2015 at 09:45 AM Mark Levin Says:

Reply to #16  
whaleboy Says:

Here is some perspective: for the average resident of Sullivan County, there is no direct benefit to having the bungalow colonies. Most Orthodox do NOT purchase from local stores, rather they frequent Walmart and Shoprite (of which only a minute percent benefit from) while the bulk of their other purchases are made in Jewish stores. The fact that the bungalow colonies exist, in their minds prevents higher class permanent residents from moving in.

These klayn kepilach shgutzim are wrong wrong wrong!! People are paying sales tax on almost everything, no matter where they buy it. It doesn't matter if it's in Ellinville, Kerhonkson, Woodbourne, South Fallsbugh, Monticello, or anywhere else.

I'm up there often over the "winter" and there's plenty of crime etc that takes place with these haters.

But don't worry Mr Typical Shaygitz, its almost over. The casino is going up on the grounds of the old
Concord and the Jews will hopefully leave the area after making EVEN MORE MONEY selling their properties.

I'm sure they'll love it then, when the area turns into zona town and zonas don't pay taxes on cash transactions.

19

 Jul 09, 2015 at 10:44 AM Anonymous Says:

Why don't you people get it? There is only once place in the world that wants the Jews (Israel). Sullivan County, Monroe etc. never was, never is and never will be the home of the Jewish People. Wake up and smell the coffee.

20

 Jul 09, 2015 at 11:04 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
sane Says:

" they have no way of seeing the inner beauty of a Torah Jew" - what do you mean by that? If you act the way you are supposed to outwardly, then the inner beauty would show. If you conduct yourself in a loud, brash, know-it-all manner and are palpably disdainful of the locals - what do you expect and what is the good and purpose of the so-called inner beauty?

Right you are!

21

 Jul 09, 2015 at 11:04 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
ydeneydene Says:

Chilul hashem is an issue. If you have to double park for pizza and supermarket, it is very annoying to local people. You should put your self in their shoe

Ticket and tow scofflaws.

22

 Jul 09, 2015 at 11:34 AM Anonymous Says:

Try driving on the 42 on a Friday in the town of fallsburg and you balme the goyim? Is there something wrong with insisiting on keeping the greenary and serine atmosphere. Passing laws barring cottage expansion and requiring greenary is very sensible. Goyim like quiet outdoor space. I think this is all a very rational argument. Oh and the sewage. Come on how many colonies pay for the correct infratsructure and sewage costs. A family with 10 kids, eidims, and 40 grandchildren does drain the county's sewers which are equipped to deal with a family of two and a dog.
Bottom line is there anti semitism? some. But are there vaild points? yes Lets face it we forget we are in golus. And we don't ralize that goyim have a totally differnet culture and we must be respectful of them.

23

 Jul 09, 2015 at 12:09 PM ayoyo Says:

Today the summer vacation spots of yesteryear are within 2 hours or so from N.Y.C.and are within driving time for residents to drive to the city to work. the summer crowd will have to relocate further from the city for vacation

24

 Jul 09, 2015 at 12:22 PM Can't say I am shocked Says:

This is why people need to stay home in the summer. There is no reason for the whole Brooklyn to run upstate for the summer. I don't believe it for a moment that everyone is doing it for their kids.

25

 Jul 09, 2015 at 12:32 PM Residing on Joyland Rd Monticelllo Says:

Reply to #18  
Mark Levin Says:

These klayn kepilach shgutzim are wrong wrong wrong!! People are paying sales tax on almost everything, no matter where they buy it. It doesn't matter if it's in Ellinville, Kerhonkson, Woodbourne, South Fallsbugh, Monticello, or anywhere else.

I'm up there often over the "winter" and there's plenty of crime etc that takes place with these haters.

But don't worry Mr Typical Shaygitz, its almost over. The casino is going up on the grounds of the old
Concord and the Jews will hopefully leave the area after making EVEN MORE MONEY selling their properties.

I'm sure they'll love it then, when the area turns into zona town and zonas don't pay taxes on cash transactions.

Jews arex selling their properties so fast to the casinos. They have enough land meanwhile without buying land from the yidden in the area. But the crime is disaster. Over the winter a ton of copper was stolen from jewish properties.

26

 Jul 09, 2015 at 12:39 PM Rangers Goalie Says:

Reply to #19  
Anonymous Says:

Why don't you people get it? There is only once place in the world that wants the Jews (Israel). Sullivan County, Monroe etc. never was, never is and never will be the home of the Jewish People. Wake up and smell the coffee.

My friend, Israel does NOT want frum Jews either.

27

 Jul 09, 2015 at 02:04 PM ראה רש"י במדבר כ:יז Says:

Reply to #17  
Insider Says:

The time has arrived for us to give all of our business to heimishe businesses ONLY !!!!
If they don't like us, surely they don't like our money either, so why share it with them. That means that everything we need, whether its gas, tire repairs, or anything else, make sure its a heimishe establishment that's at the receiving end.
No new bungalows? Guess what, no new business for you, pal.
Every handyman should have payos and tzitzis.
Thirsty? Make sure the soda that you're buying is from a machine owned by a heimishe Yid.
Guess what! Life is a two way street. What goes around, comes around.

ולא נשתה מי באר - (במדרש רבה) מי בורות היה צ"ל אלא כך אמר משה אע"פ שיש בידינו מן לאכול ובאר לשתות לא נשתה ממנו אלא נקנה מכם אוכל ומים להנאתכם מכאן לאכסנאי שאף ע"פ שיש בידו לאכול יקנה מן החנוני כדי להנות את אושפיזו

Rashi says that the Torah teaches us derech eretz (proper manners) to purchase from local hosts.

28

 Jul 09, 2015 at 02:08 PM BarryLS1 Says:

Reply to #26  
Rangers Goalie Says:

My friend, Israel does NOT want frum Jews either.

Where do you get this nonsense from? It's Loshon Horoh and categorically false. Most people making Aliyah these days are Frum. Hashem is the one bringing us here. Maybe you should ask yourself why you aren't part of it.

29

 Jul 09, 2015 at 02:49 PM boroparkermom Says:

Reply to #24  
Can't say I am shocked Says:

This is why people need to stay home in the summer. There is no reason for the whole Brooklyn to run upstate for the summer. I don't believe it for a moment that everyone is doing it for their kids.

& i do believe majority are going because of their kids !! Me included :)

30

 Jul 09, 2015 at 03:31 PM confusedmom Says:

So they want to get rid of bungalows and build permanent housing instead? See how fast they will change there mind if we try to live there all year round. How many times have we tried, just to be blocked. What happened in KJ, Bloomingburg, and Monticello just recently. They panicked at the thought that religious jews would live up there all year round. Brooklyn is bursting at the seams, with tiny apartments and huge rents, yet there is nowhere to go, because wherever we try building, we are blocked. They do not want us period. Not in the summer and definitely not all year round.

31

 Jul 09, 2015 at 04:05 PM Anonymous Says:

"In fact, tax revenues increase to more than a million dollars during the summer when the Jews are in town" is a totally ridiculously low number. The colonies pay many many millions of $ per year in property taxes. We probably account for a large part of their total revenue and we use little if any services. Let them try to pay for all their snow removal and public schools etc without our taxes

33

 Jul 10, 2015 at 02:08 AM Insider Says:

Reply to #27  
ראה רש"י במדבר כ:יז Says:

ולא נשתה מי באר - (במדרש רבה) מי בורות היה צ"ל אלא כך אמר משה אע"פ שיש בידינו מן לאכול ובאר לשתות לא נשתה ממנו אלא נקנה מכם אוכל ומים להנאתכם מכאן לאכסנאי שאף ע"פ שיש בידו לאכול יקנה מן החנוני כדי להנות את אושפיזו

Rashi says that the Torah teaches us derech eretz (proper manners) to purchase from local hosts.

Holy Rashi is assuming that the courtesies would be reciprocal. Plainly it's not.

34

 Jul 14, 2015 at 02:30 AM FinVeeNemtMenSeichel Says:

Reply to #24  
Can't say I am shocked Says:

This is why people need to stay home in the summer. There is no reason for the whole Brooklyn to run upstate for the summer. I don't believe it for a moment that everyone is doing it for their kids.

Kinah Sinah

35

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