- Kiryas Joel, New York
official_name = Village of Kiryas Joel
settlement_type = Village
imagesize = 180px
pushpin_map_caption =Location within the state of New York
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Orange
leader_title = Administrator
established_date3 = 1979
area_total_km2 = 2.8
area_total_sq_mi = 1.1
area_land_km2 = 2.8
area_land_sq_mi = 1.1
area_water_km2 = 0.0
area_water_sq_mi = 0.0
population_as_of = 2006
population_total = 20,071
population_density_km2 = 7168.2
population_density_sq_mi = 18246.4
timezone = US EST
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = Eastern Daylight Time
utc_offset_DST = -4
latd = 41 |latm = 20 |lats = 24 |latNS = N
longd = 74 |longm = 10 |longs = 2 |longEW = W
elevation_m = 257
elevation_ft = 842
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 36-39853
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0979938
Kiryas Joel (also known as "Kiryas Yo'el" or "KJ") (Hebrew: קרית יואל, "
Townof Joel") is a villagewithin the town of Monroe in Orange County, New York, United States. The great majority of its residents are Hasidic Jews who strictly observe the Torahand its commandments, and belong to the worldwide Satmar Hasidic dynasty.
Most of the village's residents speak
Yiddishas their first language. The village has the youngest median age(15.0) of any population center of over 5,000 residents in the United States. [http://www.city-data.com/top6.html City Data] Accessed December 14, 2006.] Residents of Kiryas Joel, like those of other ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities, typically have large families.
Kiryas Joel is named for
Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum, the " rebbe" of Satmar and driving spirit behind the project. Teitelbaum himself helped select the location a few years before his death in 1979. Rabbi Teitelbaum was the founding "rebbe" of the Satmar Hasidic dynasty, originally from Hungary. The Satmars who established Kiryas Joel came from Szatmarnemeti, Hungary (now Satu Mare, Romania), Teitelbaum's hometown, whose 12,000 Jewish residents were deported to Auschwitz.
In 1946, Teitelbaum originally settled with his followers in
Williamsburg, Brooklyn. By the 1970s, however, he decided to move the growing community to a location that was not far from the commercial center of New York Citybut was also more secluded from what he saw as the harmful influences and immorality of the outside world. Teitelbuam's choice was Monroe. The land for Kiryas Joel was purchased in 1977, and fourteen Satmar families settled there. By 2006, there were over 3,000. When he died in 1979, Rabbi Teitelbaum was the first person to be buried in the town's cemetery. His funeral reportedly brought over 100,000 mourners to Kiryas Joel at that time.
It is widely believed that no candidates run for the village's board or the school board unless first approved by the grand rebbe Rabbi Aron Teitelbaum. In 2001, Kiryas Joel held a competitive election in which all candidates supported by the grand rebbe were re-elected by a 60-40% margin. [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A02E3DE143EF93AA35755C0A9679C8B63 "A Hasidic Village Gets a Lesson In Bare-Knuckled Politicking"] by David W. Chen,
New York Times, June 9, 2001. Accessed December 14, 2006.]
Friction with surrounding jurisdictions
The village has become a contentious issue in Orange County for several reasons, mainly related to its rapid growth. [http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/27/nyregion/27orange.html?pagewanted=1&th&emc=th "Reverberations of a Baby Boom"] by Fernanda Santos,
The New York Times, August 27, 2006, retrieved August 27, 2006; accessed online in fee-based archive at same URL December 13, 2006.] Unlike most other small towns, it lacks a real downtown and much of it is given over to residential property, which has mostly taken the form of contemporary townhouse-style condominiumcomplexes similar to those found in ski resort communities in western states. New construction is ongoing throughout the community.
Population growth is strong. In 1990, there were 7,400 people in Kiryas Joel; in 2000, 13,100, nearly doubling the population. In 2005, the population had risen to 18,300, a rate of growth suggesting it will double again in the ten years between 2000 and 2010. In 2006, village administrator Gedalye Szegedin stated:
Local impact of growth
Monroe also contains two other villages, Monroe and Harriman. Kiryas Joel's boundaries also come close to the neighboring towns of Blooming Grove and Woodbury.Residents of these communities and local Orange County politicians view the village as encroaching on them. Due to the rapid population growth occurring in Kiryas Joel, resulting almost entirely from the high birth rates of its Hasidic population, the village government has undertaken various
annexationefforts to expand its area, to the dismay of the majority of the residents of the surrounding communities. Many of these area residents see the expansion of the high-density residential, commercial village as a threat to the quality of lifein the surrounding suburban communities. They view it as a prime source of suburban sprawl(most land surrounding it is largely undeveloped). This designation is questionable, because the high density townhouses and condominiums of Kiryas Joel take up much less space per person than the typical suburban community. Only 5.4% of housing units in Kiryas Joel are single, detached houses,City Data; " [http://www.city-data.com/top2/h205.html smallest percentage of detached housing units] ";retrieved 11/7/07] , a lower percentage than the Bronx (where 5.8% of housing units are single detached houses). (Detached single housing is a component of sprawl, but not the only component.) Other concerns of the surrounding communities are the impact on local aquifers and the projected increased volume of sewage reaching the county’s sewerage treatment plants, already near capacity by 2005.
August 11, 2006, residents of Woodbury voted by a 3-to-1 margin to incorporate much of the town as a village to constrain further annexation. Kiryas Joel has vigorously opposed such moves in court,.Fact|date=October 2007 and even some Woodbury residents are concerned about adding another layer of taxation without any improved defense against annexations.
In March 2007, the village sued the county to stop it from selling off a million gallons (3,780 m³) of excess capacity at its sewage plant in Harriman. Two years before, the county had sued the village to stop it from tapping into New York City's
Catskill Aqueduct, arguing that the village's environmental review for the project had inadequately addressed concerns about the additional wastewater it would generate. The village is appealing an early ruling siding with the county.McKenna, Chris; March 6, 2007; " [http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070306/NEWS/703060313/-1/NEWS Kiryas Joel sues county over sewage] "; " Times-Herald Record"; retrieved March 6, 2007.]
In its action, Kiryas Joel accuses the county of inconsistently claiming limited capacity in its suit when it is selling the million gallons to three communities outside its sewer district.
Critics of the village cite its impact on local politics. Villagers are perceived as voting in a solid bloc. While this is not always the case, the highly concentrated population often does skew strongly toward one candidate or the other in local elections, making Kiryas Joel a heavily-courted swing vote for whichever politician offers Kiryas Joel the most favorable environment for continued growth.
Kiryas Joel played a major role in the 2006 Congressional election. The village sits in the 19th Congressional District, represented at that time by Republican
Sue Kelly. Village residents had been loyal to Kelly in the past, but in 2006, voters were upset over what they saw as lack of adequate representation from Kelly for the village. In a bloc, Kiryas Joel swung around 2,900 votes to Kelly's Democratic opponent, John Hall in that year's election. The vote in Kiryas Joel was a major reason Hall carried Orange County, as he defeated Kelly in the county by 93 votes.
Women usually stop working outside the home after the birth of a second child. Most families have only one income and many children. The resulting
povertyrate makes a disproportionate number of families in Kiryas Joel eligible for welfare benefits when compared to the rest of the county; and cost of welfare benefits is subsidized by taxes paid county-wide. The "New York Times" wrote,
The unusual lifestyle and growth pattern of Kiryas Joel has led to litigation on a number of fronts. Most noted in legal circles is the "Grumet" decision about school district boundaries; but there has also been litigation over what entity should pay for the education of children with disabilities in Kiryas Joel, and over whether the community's boys must ride buses driven by women. main|Board of Education of Kiryas Joel Village School District v. Grumet
In 1994, the Supreme Court ruled that the Kiryas Joel school district, which covered only the village, was designed in violation of the
Establishment Clauseof the 1st Amendment, because the design accommodated one group on the basis of religious affiliation. 512 U.S. 687 (1994). Subsequently, the New York State Legislature established a similar school district in the town that has passed legal muster. [ " [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9904E7DA133FF933A15757C0A9649C8B63 Controversy Over, Enclave Joins School Board Group] " by Tamar Lewin, new york times, april 20, 2002]
Kiryas Joel is located at coor dms|41|20|24|N|74|10|2|W|city (41.340020, -74.167229)GR|1.
According to the
United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.1 square miles (2.8 km²).2.8 km² (1.1 sq mi) of it is land and only a very small portion of the area (a small duck pond in center of the village) is covered with water.
As of the
censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 13,138 people, 2,229 households, and 2,137 families residing in the village. The population densitywas 11,962.2 people per square mile (4,611.5/km²). There were 2,233 housing units at an average density of 2,033.2/sq mi (783.8/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 99.02% White, 0.21% African American, 0.02% Asian, 0.12% from other races, and 0.63% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.93% of the population.
Kiryas Joel is the place in the United States with the highest percentage of people who reported Hungarian ancestry, as 18.9% of the population reported Hungarian ancestry in 2000. [ [http://www.epodunk.com/ancestry/Hungarian.html Hungarian ancestry by city - ePodunk ] ]
The 2000 census also reports that only 6.2% of village residents spoke English at home, one of the lowest such percentages in the United States. Over 89% of residents spoke Yiddish at home, while 2.3% spoke Hebrew. [http://www.mla.org/census_data_results&state_id=36&place_id=39853 Modern Language Association] base data on Kiryas Joel. Accessed online December 14, 2006.] Of the Yiddish-speaking population in 2000, 46% spoke English "not well" or "not at all." Overall, including those who primarily spoke Hebrew and European languages as well as primary Yiddish speakers, 46% of Kiryas Joel residents speak English "not well" or "not at all." [http://www.mla.org/map_data_results&state_id=36&county_id=&mode=&zip=&place_id=39853&cty_id=&ll=&a=&order=&ea=y Modern Language Association] English proficiency in Kiryas Joel. Accessed online December 14, 2006.]
There were 2,229 households out of which 79.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 93.2% were married couples living together, 1.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 4.1% were non-families. 2.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 5.74 and the average family size was 5.84. In the village the population was spread out with 57.5% under the age of 18, 17.2% from 18 to 24, 16.5% from 25 to 44, 7.2% from 45 to 64, and 1.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 15 years. For every 100 females there were 116.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 118.0 males.
The median income for a household in the village was $15,138, and the median income for a family was $15,372. Males had a median income of $25,043 versus $16,364 for females. The
per capita incomefor the village was $4,355. About 61.7% of families and 62.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 63.9% of those under age 18 and 50.5% of those age 65 or over.
In the local media
Often, the local media gives the clashes between Kiryas Joel and its neighbors front-page status:
* [http://www.recordonline.com/archive/2004/03/12/camkjlan.htm Move could double KJ's size (
March 12, 2004)]
* [http://www.th-record.com/archive/2004/04/06/vwichud.htm Satmar group files to make land tax exempt (
April 6, 2004)]
* [http://www.th-record.com/archive/2004/07/11/camvaadw.htm Myriad of deals done to carve out new village (
July 12, 2004)]
* [http://www.th-record.com/archive/2004/08/15/editkj.htm Editorial: When dreams collide (
August 15, 2004)]
* [http://www.th-record.com/archive/2004/06/30/30letter.htm Bohan, KJ and the NYC Aqueduct (
June 30, 2004)]
* [http://www.kjvoice.com The Kiryas Joel Voice, a community website]
* [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9A04E0DC1530F930A25753C1A96F958260&n=Top%2fReference%2fTimes%20Topics%2fOrganizations%2fS%2fSupreme%20Court%20 Hasidic Public School Loses Again Before U.S. Supreme Court, but Supporters Persist] (New York Times, 1999)
* [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/29/nyregion/29census.html 2006 Census]
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