Demographics of Orthodox Jewry

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    Sam l Am

    What is the current demographics of Orthodox Jewry?

    I would take a rough guess that the breakdown goes in the following order:

    1. Chareidi/Chasidic (tie)

    2. Chareidi/Litvish (tie)

    3. Modern Orthodox (distant third)

    4. Dati Leumi/Religious Zionist

    5. Chareidi/Sephardic

    6. Sephardic Orthodox/Non-Chareidi

    7. Yekke (Breuer’s & Other German Ashkenazic)


    And in what percentage is each group represented in this coffee room and on online frum forums in general?


    There is a lot of overlap in those categorizations.

    Sam l Am

    It’s true. Yekke should also be considered Chareidi. Regarding overlap, for demographic purposes I would categorize everyone in the one closest grouping they felt or described themselves as.

    Sam l Am

    Put another way, categories 1, 2, 5, and 7 are Chareidi; categories 3, 4, and 6 are non-Chareidi.


    Sam I Am….

    And what about the “CHArDAL” category (CHAReidi DAti Le’umi)?!?!

    As charliehall said (above) – there IS a LOT of overlapping of your categories.

    What is the point of making up all these group names, it just causes divisiveness, when what we need is achdus!

    Rav Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook zatz”l even criticized making a division between chareidi and “chofshi” and said we are ONE people and all of us should be called by ONE name – Klal Yisrael!


    This is very confusing. There is way too much overlap. I would say there are the chassidim and misnagsim which are Chareidi. Many modern orthodox people which are more Frum and to the right, are almost on the same level as people who are modern yeshivish and Chareidi. It is an overlap, especially considering many modern orthodox people will wear hats, especially at YU. Then there is rabbi avi Weiss and “Open Orthodox” which call themselves orthodox, but in reality, are extremely dangerous and are trying to damage the Torah and turn it into something it is not. They want women to be rabbis, and the whole nine yards. They are WORSE than conservative and reform because everyone knows conservative and reform isn’t Frum, but some people may get confused and associate themselves with these type of people because they are “religious”. One time I got stuck going to a Friday night minyan at this type of place, and it was very bad. The mechitza was flowerpots and it was just gross.


    Based of what I’ve seen, outside the New York area, Orthodoxy basically means a shul has a mechitzah, regardless of its height.


    Google “Moshiach’s Hat” if you want to know why creating these divisions is dangerous.


    The whole taxonomy is off. There are plenty of people who carve out their own paths, and who affiliate and borrow from with different sectors and communities and approaches.

    I know lots of people who are clean-shaven, own a television, daven Nusah Sefard, and wear a bekeshe on shabbat (I even own a bekeshe that I’d wear on shabbos in the past), and others who combine elements of Modern Orthodoxy and Open Orthodoxy with a classic Sephardic approach and even elements of German Neo-Orthodoxy (I’d definitely fall into that camp, and a friend from Silver Spring would, as well).

    I happen to work as a hazzan in a shul where they have a potted plant mehitza that is a little more than 10 tefahim high. This was a synagogue that was staunchly non-egalitarian Conservadox with a YU-trained rabbi for many years. Upon his retirement, it was told to me that the shul board voted to instate separate seating, a bima/shulhan facing the proper direction, and to eliminate the microphone. The shul has one YU-trained rabbi and another rabbi with the semikha of R’ David Weiss HaLivni. The mehitza is not ideal, but its presence at least makes the shul a viable option for halakhic Jews to visit and daven in. Without this arrangement, I would not have accepted a position there.

    YCT did have a mehitza-only policy, but I do know that one of their graduates is now the rabbi of a synagogue in Overland Park, Kansas where they have no mehitza (and where the UTJ rabbi of the shul I work at once completed an internship). I don’t perceive a tayna “against” the mehitza among the progressive Orthodox, but I do feel that those in this camp are intellectually honest on the topic, as indicated by my many postings on the issue.


    Some recent demographics I’ve gathered are

    5,000 babies born per year to frum families in Maimonides Hospital in Boro Park.

    20,000 frum families in Lakewood.

    8-9,000 frum families in Kiryas Yoel/Monroe.

    2-3,000 frum families in New Square.


    According to Google:

    1 the TOTAL population of Lakewood Township in 2010 was 92,843
    2.New Square’s 2010 population was 6,944
    3.Kiryas Yoel’s 2013 population was 21,894

    Given the size of frum families, your family numbers appear to be high

    4. Most hospitals don’t report admissions categorized by observance levels. I;m curious were you obtained your newborn stats


    According to the US census

    Numbers are from 2010

    20,000 in Kiryat Joel
    7,000 in New Square
    18,000 in Monsey
    92,000 in lakewood (Not all are frum jews, estimates are 50-60% are frum jews)
    92,000 for Zipcode 11219 which is Borough Park (again not all are frum jews)


    These frum areas have rapid population growth. It’s over 7 years since the last census. Also, the frum population has long outgrown just the municipal boundries the census reports use and have expanded into surrounding neighborhoods/towns that are included in the above count.


    According to the census beareau estimates, the population estimates for Kiryat Yoel is 22,000 for 2015, which is 10% growth from 2010.

    I think its fair to say you can use similar numbers for everywhere else


    Kiryat Joel 22,000
    New Square 7,700
    Monsey 19,800
    Borough Park 110,00
    Lakewood 100,000 (Not everyone in Lakewood is frum)



    Your estimate cannot be correct.

    In the ERCSD there are over 20,000 children in Yeshivas. That would show that there are quite a bite more than 19,800 Orthodox Jews in Monsey. (Even if you include NS in ERCSD).

    The increase in Lakewood has got to be more than 10% over 7 years.

    Ask any school in lakewood.


    East Ramapo School District includes Spring Valley which has according to the census had 31,000 in 2010.

    Instead of asking schools in lakewood, you ask the Utility (The public utitities have the best estimates of population numbers since they know about how much electricity is used per person)

    Lilmod Ulelamaid

    “the TOTAL population of Lakewood Township in 2010 was 92,843”

    I’m pretty sure that at some point between 2011-2015, I heard (from more than one source,) that there were approximately 12,000 Jewish families in Lakewood comprising approximately 50,000 people. I also heard (at around the same time) that the Jewish population was approximately 60%. So that fits in with your figure.

    However, it doesn’t necessarily contradict Joseph’s figure since there has been a very rapid population growth (although I don’t know the numbers).

    “Given the size of frum families, your family numbers appear to be high”

    You have to keep in mind that a large percentage of the population is comprised of newly married couples who don’t have children yet as well as young couples who only have one or two children. These are probably the people who account for a big part of the population growth (which would mean that the number of families has probably increased at a higher rate than the number of people, I think).


    While there are less Chasidm than non Casidishe frum people, 1. Chareidi/Chasidic and 2.Chareidi/Litvish are not tied. There are far more Chasidim.

    Lakewood and Flatbush are the only two large places where Chareidi/Litvish outnumber Chareidi/Chasidic. And even there plenty of Chasidim live. Then you have to add Boro Park, Williamsburg, Monsey, New Square, Kiryos Yoel etc. where the Chasidim are by far the majority.

    Based on a (Torah Umesorah?) graph I once sawIn the 1980’s there were more bochrim learning in Litvish Yeshivos. In the 1990’s it flipped to more bochurim learning in Chasidshe yeshivos.And even in the 1980’s Chasidim learned in Litivishe yeshivos whereas litviseh bochurim don’t learn in Chasdishe yeshivoa


    So, in other words, Joseph guestimated, which is fine as long as he acknowledges this. BTW, Joseph, what was your source? And you still haven’t disclose the source for the number of newborns


    smerel, if there are far more Chasidim than Litvish, it is also highly probable that there are more Chasidim than all frum non-Chasidim combined. Chareidim (i.e. Litvish/Yeshivish and Chasidim) constitute two thirds of American Jewry, as of several years ago (with the Chareidi percent increasing dramatically.)


    LC: The newborns figure was from an article not too long ago. I don’t remember what their source was.

    Lilmod Ulelamaid

    “So, in other words, Joseph guestimated”

    I didn’t say he was guestimated. I was just commenting that your facts don’t necessarily contradict his.


    ויחן שם ישראל נגד ההר, כאיש אחד בלב אחד! ודי למבין

    Lilmod Ulelamaid

    In order for the number of families to go from 12,000 to 20,000 in 7 years, there would have to be 8,000 new families each year. That comes out to 95 a month. That would mean that each month, there are a total of 95 couples getting married and moving to/staying in Lakewood as well as families moving to Lakewood.

    I think that as of a few years ago, there were at least 500 12th grade girls in Lakewood. That should mean that on average, there are 500 Lakewood girls getting married a year. Even if we assumed that the Nasi people are correct and only 90% of girls get married, that is still 450. That is 37.5 a month, the vast majority of whom stay in Lakewood.

    Then we have to add in all of the girls who are not from Lakewood but move there after they get married. I would guess that that is a greater number. So let’s say that is another 50-70 girls.

    We then have to add in all the families moving to Lakewood each year.

    So it does seem that 95 a month is quite possible.

    Now, this was just based on guestimation. And since I am not a statician or a sociologist, there may be many errors here. Feel free to point them out.


    There likely are more Chassidish than Litvish only because Chassidish get married earlier, they get married 2-3 years earlier than Litvish girls so they can have more kids


    The majority of Chasidim have at least nine children k’h by time they had all their children.

    Lilmod Ulelamaid

    A few years ago, I heard that Satmar was the largest Orthodox group in New York (it may have been New York area – I’m not 100% sure if it only included New York).


    That makes sense. KJ, which is exclusively Satmar, alone has a population that’s getting fairly close to half the size of the frum population of all of Lakewood. And Satmar has additional strongholds in Williamsburg, Boro Park, Bloomingburg, Lakewood, England, Belgium and Eretz Yisroel.

    And Satmar is only one chadidus out of many.

    Lilmod Ulelamaid

    And as ZD pointed out, since they get married younger, they are more likely to have more kids, ba”h.


    Bobov in Boro Park has 14 parallel classes per grade (7 boys and 7 girls.) Beis Yaakov of Boro Park has 8 parallel (girl) classes per grade. And there are many more yeshivos and beis yaakovs in BP.

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