Alternative Communities in New Jersey?

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  • #1656886

    yoyo guy
    Participant

    Hi,

    I’m a former yeshiva guy, and have been working for several years. I would be considered more ‘balebatish’ by most people. For example, I would technically wear clothes other than black pants and white shirts, go to movies occasionally, let my kids watch movies, etc.

    However, due to the realities ib Lakewood, I mostly obstain from all of the above. I would love to find a community in new Jersey where people like me fit in without pressure. Brooklyn and five towns are too expensive and crowded, and regardless, my job requires that I stay in new Jersey. Other new Jersey communities all seem to be modern Orthodox where I wouldn’t fit in either.

    Does anyone know of a regular frum community that has normal infrastructure, such as schools and a shul, in new Jersey? I just want a community where we don’t have to necessarily follow the Lakewood way. Alternatively, is there enough of an interest in people joining together to move to a community with a small school to build up a community?

    Thank you all for any help and tips!

    #1657008

    Sam Klein
    Participant

    Try the beautiful community of Passaic

    #1657024

    1
    Participant

    There is no normal. Passaic is boring.

    #1657046

    Joseph
    Participant

    1 – How do you define boring?

    #1657057

    1
    Participant

    Everyone there is the same type.

    #1657064

    Joseph
    Participant

    1 – They’re all BTs? In what sense are they all the same?

    #1657065

    Out of towner
    Participant

    How about Edison/Highland Park?

    #1657066

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    What type, 1?

    #1657075

    Ctrl Alt Del
    Participant

    Edison? Elizabeth? Clifton? Passaic? Teaneck? Hillside? Linden?

    #1657076

    DBMH
    Participant

    Edison/Highland Park has several shuls ranging from Modern Orthodox to Agudah, plus a kollel. It’s a diverse community that prides itself on achdus and a “live and let live” approach that works well for some people. There are schools and amenities in town or close by. Geographically E/HP is in the center of NJ and close to NJ Transit and all major highways, although traffic on the local roads can be challenging (like almost everyplace else in NJ). While E/HP is located only 45 minutes from Brooklyn, housing is a fraction of the cost, and there are many homes on the market at any given time. I have often wondered why E/HP is not more “on the radar” for families that are looking for an out-of-town lifestyle.

    #1657079

    Joseph
    Participant

    How big is the Orthodox community in Edison/Highland Park? And what proportion of that is yeshivish/black hat?

    Elizabeth, Teaneck, Hillside and Linden are, if I’m not mistaken, MO. Which isn’t what the OP is looking for.

    #1657097

    UncleMo
    Participant

    I have been told by people in Edison/HP that tuition is a “holly fortune” and that there is no pity on someone who “chooses” to live there (in other words, someone who’s originally from there may get breaks etc as they look at them as moving there sort of “out of necessity” whereas s/o choosing to live there must contend with extremely high tuition, at least in comparison to Lakewood). I think this is something to strongly take into consideration. Having said that; I think HP/Edison is a really beautiful community. I used to do business there and gaff the opportunity to see it in person for a few years.

    #1657101

    LOTR92
    Participant

    as far as I know about 1500 families. a good percentage is yeshivish/black hat. there are a lot of MO there too
    it is a nice mix

    #1657104

    Ctrl Alt Del
    Participant

    “Elizabeth, Teaneck, Hillside and Linden are, if I’m not mistaken, MO. Which isn’t what the OP is looking for.”

    Actually, that’s exactly what hes looking for. Without the pejorative connotation of “MO” of course. I’ve visited all these neighborhoods while looking for a place to live, and wound up in one of them. And I am pretty much observantly in line with what the OP wrote. These beauty I found in each of those communities was that you have the ability to be pretty much whatever you want to be on the spectrum of observance, and no one really judged you for it. Cholov stam? Sure. Black hat? Sure. Movies? Whatever…. it was a machayah I tell you, to meet people like that.

    #1657157

    1
    Participant

    Be a trail blazer. Move to canarsie

    #1657155

    Nuch a Yid
    Participant

    “Everyone there is the same type.”
    This is so inaccurate! There is actually a very inclusive mix of all types of people across the observant spectrum.
    Are there a number of BTs? Sure. Because the Passaic/Clifton communities as a whole are non-judgemental and anyone can feel comfortable living there. Don’t take my word for it. Check it out for yourself, in person. Not based on posts.

    #1657162

    Joseph
    Participant

    CAD: The OP is coming from wearing a black hat and only white shirts living in Lakewood. He said he wants something more like Brooklyn where he can wear colored shirts, etc., but not be as expensive so Brooklyn.

    Teaneck and the other towns in that comment are thorough and through MO, something the OP isn’t seeking. Teaneck in fact is the prototypical MO town, not to mention far more expensive than Brooklyn.

    #1657182

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    Teaneck is not more expensive than Brooklyn.

    #1657196

    Too bad the OP has to stay in NJ or I would have suggested Queens and/or Far Rockaway. Cedarhurst or Inwood are the somewhat less pricey options in 5Towns.

    Be that as it may, Edison/HP is the “frummer” side of Elizabeth. Definitely Passaic for its live and let live attitude. And Teaneck is moving a bit more to the right, but I wouldn’t call it “inexpensive”.

    #1657211

    Joseph
    Participant

    Neville: From the perspective of a kosher keeping, tuition paying Orthodox Jew, Teaneck is much more expensive.

    Especially especially tuition. But housing too.

    #1657245

    kmindick
    Participant

    A wonderful place to move your family to is the community of Aberdeen. We’re located at exit 118 off the parkway south. It’s a 40 minute drive down Rte 9 to Lakewood or 30 minutes to exit 89C on the Pkwy. We offer very affordable homes in many different models. Our community is a complete assortment of Jews with various backgrounds. There is an eruv, a mikveh, Matawan train station 2 miles away, NJ Transit busses stop right in front of the Shul if you work in NYC, nearby schools and yeshivos, daily minyanim, Sunday Breakfast and Learn, evening minyanim at the Kollel in Cliffwood (just 3 miles away), warm, friendly and caring congregants who’ll make you feel like you’ve been living here for years, a young and vibrant Rabbi and his family whose roots are from Lakewood via Rabbi Alster’s kollel in Cliffwood, very accessible to the Garden State Parkway, NJ Turnpike, Rte 195, Outerbridge to Brooklyn, and plenty of shopping nearby. The name of the Shul is Young Israel of Aberdeen, 479 Lloyd Rd, Aberdeen 07747. The Rabbi’s name is Yaakov Tesser. His cell number is redacted Give him a call. Listen to him. He’s a straight shooter. We have everything you’re looking for, and affordable too.

    #1657277

    yoyo guy
    Participant

    Hey all,

    Thanks very much for all of your input. I think that Passaic/Clifton or Highland Park are probably the most in line for what I’m looking for. However, as someone noted in the comments, HP has very heavy tuition. Does anyone know the deal with tuition costs for a BY/Yeshiva education in Passaic/Clifton?

    The drawback to Passaic and Clifton is also that housing is tight, kind of like Brooklyn. Aberdeen seems nice and rural, but I don’t see schools that I would I would be comfortable with. It seems unfortunate, that the regular working type yeshiva crowd couldn’t make a place for themselves somewhere more rural in NJ.

    #1657272

    kmindick
    Participant

    I forgot to give you the Shul’s website. It’s yiaberdeen.com.
    Check it out. You’ll find more information than what I just posted.

    #1657282

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    My Brother-in-law has been living in Edison/Highland park for close to 20 years. I would suggest you try to contact either Rabbi Drucker of the Aguda of edison/highland park or Rabbi Luban of Cong. Ohr Torah.

    #1657422

    kmindick
    Participant

    Before you make a decision that you might not be happy with a few years down the road, please go to the Young Israel of Aberdeen site, http://www.yiaberdeen,com, get Rabbi Tesser’s personal information, and speak with him. The 2 of you are probably in the same age bracket, so he can relate to what you’re experiencing.
    Give him a shot. It won’t cost you anything. Then if you still feel different, do what you feel is best for you and your family.

    #1657455

    Haimy
    Participant

    How about Toms River or Jackson? There’s no perfect place to live. Colored shirts are not a good enough reason to put your family through the difficulty of resettling somewhere else. The “pressure ” in Lakewood may be influencing you & your family in a positive way without you realizing. There guys just like you in Lakewood who figure out how to find a nice group. Wearing a white shirt is a small sacrifice for all that Lakewood offers.

    #1657466

    Joseph
    Participant

    There are guys in Lakewood who don’t wear white shirts on weekdays.

    #1657478

    from Long Island
    Participant

    Before you look at communities, look at the yeshivas that you would send your children to. Once you find yeshivas you like, check out their tuition/dinner costs. Out of Lakewood, the numbers may/will shock you. They give very little in tuition breaks, because they spend alot more money on your child’s education than the yeshivas in Lakewood can because of lower tuition.

    THEN, look for housing. You may be able to afford a house in a certain area, but not be able to afford tuition or visa versa.

    One needs to factor in total costs; housing, tuition, taxes, commuting costs, etc.

    Wishing you much hatzlacha in your search.

    #1657490

    Takes2-2tango
    Participant

    Did u try Deal/Long Branch and Twin rivers

    #1658077

    Ctrl Alt Del
    Participant

    Joseph, are we reading the same post??

    “I’m a former yeshiva guy, and have been working for several years. I would be considered more ‘balebatish’ by most people. For example, I would technically wear clothes other than black pants and white shirts, go to movies occasionally, let my kids watch movies”

    Those towns are EXACTLY what he is looking for. (While Teaneck proper IS expensive, its surrounding neighbors in the “Teaneck community” are not).

    As for this statement “Teaneck and the other towns in that comment are thorough and through MO, something the OP isn’t seeking”

    Thats through and through wrong. You clearly havent spent any significant amount of time in these areas. And again with the throwing out of “MO” as a pejorative.
    yoyo, spend a shabbos in the towns I listed, you wont be disappointed and youll meet some really great people.

    #1658143

    Joseph
    Participant

    What does tuition cost in those towns you keep mentioning, CAD?

    Actual dollar figures, please.

    #1658204

    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    Am I the only one who was struck by the term “Alternative Communities” ? Clearly not looking for a Yeshivish place. Sounds like this was posted by Mike Moskowitz.

    #1658368

    Ctrl Alt Del
    Participant

    J, it depends. Most are pretty generous with discounts and scholarships. And generally depends on the grade. Elementary is far cheaper than high school. You could expect 5 to 8 thousand a child though. (This is a massive generalization YRMV) But the tradeoff that is understood is that your home is a fraction of the price of Brooklyn. You could buy 2 moderate or 1 stunning home in these neighborhoods for far less than the price of your average semi-detached, shared driveway, postage stamp sized Marine Park home. Forget places like flatbush proper. And the folks in these areas really dont care a whit if you go to movies, or wear a bekeshe to shul, or daven N. Ari, or eat Triangle K. (All those issues not up for discussion, just furnishing examples of tolerance) you’re a Jew and you’re welcome.

    #1658414

    Joseph
    Participant

    … or if you eat at non-certified vegetarian or non-meat restaurants.

    #1658581

    Ctrl Alt Del
    Participant

    “… or if you eat at non-certified vegetarian or non-meat restaurants”

    And your fragmented thought is implying what exactly? I’m kidding, I’m well aware of what you’re implying. You’re trying to use the far left of observance of MO to be the rule for the whole. And it’s a feeble attempt, and it’s not relevant to the conversation, because the super majority of the Jewish population in those towns are NOT far left in observance. In fact there has been and continues to be a steady march to the right for many years now. So, back to actual topic at hand (and brushing aside the prob mechilah you have to ask of thousands of fully frum jews) the communities I have listed would fit very well with what the OP indicated was his desired neighborhood.

    #1658590

    Health
    Participant

    Joe -“non-meat restaurants”

    Eating in places like that is Not MO! That’s Frei. But I’m sure you know this.

    #1658597

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    “Eating in places like that is Not MO! That’s Frei. But I’m sure you know this.”

    Doesn’t change the metzius that people call themselves “Modern Orthodox” and then go ahead and do it.

    #1658611

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    NCB, the fact that that’s true doesn’t change the metzius that the Modern Orthodox who do keep halacha (kashrus, not watching movies, covering hair, etc.) take offense at being lumped together.

    #1658644

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    So let them be offended. We shouldn’t have to skirt serious issues and put stumbling blocks before a guy making an important life decision just to spare the feelings of a few insecure people who want to be meikel all the time.

    #1658854

    LOTR92
    Participant

    some of what we consider conservative consider themselves MO

    #1658944

    Milhouse
    Participant

    “The drawback to Passaic and Clifton is also that housing is tight, kind of like Brooklyn.”

    It depends where you look. If you insist on living on a block with only frum people except for the one shabbes-goy, then yes. If you don’t mind living 2 blocks out of the core frum area but still within the eruv, you’ll find that houses around the hospital area are very reasonable.

    #1658945

    Milhouse
    Participant

    “Eating in places like that is Not MO! That’s Frei. But I’m sure you know this.”

    Doesn’t change the metzius that people call themselves “Modern Orthodox” and then go ahead and do it.

    I’ve got news for you. People calling themselves “chareidi” and “chassidish” or “yeshivish” also go ahead and do it. People calling themselves “modern orthodox” or “charedi” or whatever also do far worse things that you will hopefully never find out about. What people call themselves, and even what people truly are, doesn’t always match up with what yetzer horas they have and how they fail in dealing with them. כל הגדול מחברו…

    #1658993

    Joseph
    Participant

    Milhouse, your comment may be factual but there’s a difference. No one says their aveira is okay “because I’m Chareidi”; otoh, you will *often* find those that attribute their being MO as a justification as to why its okay for them to do their aveira, and why their aveira isn’t even an aveira because it’s the MO custom or the MO way or okay to do since they’re MO and they don’t subscribe to Chareidi shittos.

    There’s many examples aside from eating at non-kosher certified restaurants, which is less common than other things such as mixed swimming (“we’re an MO bungalow colony”), ignoring shomer negia, etc.

    #1659055

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    Milhouse: What’s your point within the context of this thread? The OP explicitly said he isn’t looking for an MO community. Saying stuff to the likes of “but, these specific MO communities are so great!” or “but, there are people who call themselves Chareidi and do bad stuff” doesn’t add anything to the discussion.

    Other than being pointless, your comparison is bad for the reasons Joseph stated. The MO and MO communities cause otherwise religious people to find ways to violate the halachah and have it accepted by those around them. At least the Conservative/Reform movements basically just serve as a vessel for non-religious people to meet, since their congregants probably wouldn’t be frum otherwise. The MO is actually directly causing frum people to be less religious. Before you try a strawman and say “are you actually saying that the MO does more damage than the Conservative/Reform movements,” let me save you some time: yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying and I’ve always said it openly here.

    Anywho, back to the actually topic.
    Yoyo: it sounded like Aberdeen was less than an hour from Lakewood, so couldn’t you just send you kids to school in Lakewood?

    #1659128

    Ctrl Alt Del
    Participant

    “The MO and MO communities cause otherwise religious people to find ways to violate the halachah and have it accepted by those around them”

    Patently ridiculous.

    “let me save you some time: yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying and I’ve always said it openly here”

    Doesnt make it any less of a ridiculous opinion.

    This conversation off into the weeds and has lost its utility. Good luck Yoyo.

    #1659168

    bringmoshiach
    Participant

    OP, I think Edison/HP is what you’re looking for and I know there are many people that are like you that live there. I’m not sure if the tuition is that much different compared to Passaic, but I would imagine it’s more than Lakewood.

    #1659176

    Milhouse
    Participant

    No, people who call themselves MO do not claim that being MO allows them to eat things that one may not eat at non-meat treife restaurants. This does not happen outside your hateful fantasies. The MO who eat in such places, just like the charedim who eat in such places know very well that this is not allowed and do not pretend otherwise.

    #1659193

    UncleMo
    Participant

    Yoyo,

    Please see comment above from “Haimy”.

    He/she is 1000% right. I will tell you one thing- before making any decisions; think about it good and hard. Then stop and think about it again. Then visit the place you’re considering. And visit again and again. I say this from experience because I moved myself and my family to an “out of town” community and 100% regret it. I wish I could move back. It was NOT the “pressures” of Lakewood that made me move, although I do think I felt a big sense of relief when I did move. However; once settled in OOT, I will tell you I would love to move right back to Lakewood. It is not easy though once you uproot your family. Lakewood is a beautiful place, a place that has so much to offer, for everyone, definitely for someone with the background you describe. From your description; I am somewhat like you, possibly a little more to the right, but definitely on similar wavelengths. Don’t run from Lakewood; you may regret it very much at a later time. Again- I am talking from personal experience. Believe it or not; you may actually miss alot of the frum aspects of lakewood when you leave it behind. And I am NOT referring to the eateries etc, I am specifically referring to the fact that it is a “frum haven” with all the garbage and stupidity that comes along with it. It is FAR from perfect, there may indeed be better places for you, I do not know you outside of this feed. I urge you to study this well before making any quick moves. This may sound retarded but I would tell you; if you do decide to move- first rent a small apt in the community. Stay there yourself during the week, maybe even take your family for shabbosim. That is the best way to ensure you really get a good feel for the place. Then if you really want to move, go ahead! Hatzlocha!

    #1659254

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    On second thought, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of a significant Jewish community in Aberdeen other than that one shul.

    #1659415

    effiesilb
    Participant

    I want to add Staten Island to your list. While it is not in NJ, it is immediately across the Outerbridge, Bayonne Bridge and Goethols Bridge from 3 entry points to “Central NJ”. I the largest Jewish community there (Willowbrook) is located directly adjacent to the Staten Island Expressway, and is a 5-10 minute drive from Bayonne, Linden, and Elizabeth NJ.

    As for the other concerns….

    Staten Island is a highly diverse “out of town type” community within NYC. There are Chasiddish, Yeshivish, MO, and other kinds of Jews all living together , often davening together, and working on various community events and chesed projects together. There are two main elementary schools locally, RJJ (which has a seperate boys division, girls division, and preschool) and well as JFS which is a co-ed school. JFS and RJJ Girls, share a campus although they are completely separate from each other. There is a Chofetz Chaim HS and countless ES and HS options just over the bridges with busing in Elizabeth, Brooklyn, and West Orange Mainly (people also send to Teaneck and Passaic among other places for HS) (more info on Staten Island Schools here https://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/uncategorized/1658207/staten-island-offers-multiple-school-options-for-the-jewish-community.html).

    In terms of affordability, the initial cost of housing is higher than many places in NJ but cheaper than most of NY. The trade off is that property taxes are much lower than NJ. Also the cost of schooling, shul memberships, and general life styles are also cheaper in Staten Island as the lifestyle is a more laid back one with less emphasis on money. My wife and I moved there 5 years ago due to circumstance, thinking that it would be a stop on our way to elsewhere but we have fallen in love with the community.

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