Questions About Monsey's Litvish/Chasidish Sociological Mix

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    Hi Everyone,

    I live “out of town” and for business reasons I need to move to New York (or commuting distance). Monsey seems to be the best choice for a number of reasons, however I am wondering if anyone can help with some information.

    I know that there is a very large Litvish community in Monsey which is spread out over a number of neighborhoods. There is also a heavy Chasidic presence there. (“litvish” is a general term for “misnagdish” although I know that there are different shades)

    Living in Monsey or its environs, is there always a shteible next door? Do you all shop in the same stores? Living in a Litvish neighborhood like Forshay, Wesely hills, Pomona, Chestnut Ridge, New Hempstead, etc do you feel like they are all around you, or taking over (not in a bad way). Please do not get me wrong, I have nothing against them, however I can not live with them, much like most of them wouldn’t live in say Teaneck even if they had their own few blocks in the neighborhood.

    In general, what is the feel? Do the different communities pretty much live their own lives, or is it each type near each other, eating out in the same restaurants and passing each other in the streets? Also, does anyone know about new young Litvish areas in the Monsey area.

    Thank you,



    I am embarrassed by this comment and question.

    One day a litvish Rabbi, who has what one would consider a Chassidus beard and he wears a gartel when davening, tells Chassidus stories etc… But one day when he wasn’t happy with my Chassidus garb he told me to go read the Satmar vows in Kessubos 111a… After a few moments I told that Rabbi that if he can show me in the G’mora where it mentions Satmar, Belez, Brisk, Lubavitch etc that I would be happy to go read the Satmar vows, but I said, “Rabbi, if you can’t show me where each of those are mentioned then you and I should go read the vows for all Yidden”

    We all know the story about the Chasida… Is the Chasida kosher?. How can a bird of kindness be an abomination? The Rabbi says, because the Chasida only does kindness for other Chasida’s…. The Chidushi HaRim finished by saying, for one to be Kosher he must do kindness for all of HaKodesh Barachu’s children and not just the ones most like you.

    Get a grip, in Monsey we are Yidden, stay in Teaneck if you are one of the Yidden who have been poisoned by the nochrim… Don’t bring the virus to us.


    I wouldn’t recommend moving to Monsey if you have these issues. The Chassidish community there is spreading extremely quickly. It is also over-crowded. It wasn’t built with the infrastructure of a city, but it now has the population density of one.


    I am not the Teaneck style, I just used it as an illustration. You seem to be the hating type. Calm down. No need to hate. If monsey is full of your type I probably should look elsewhere.


    Monsey Yid, have you ever heard of SINAAS CHINAM?


    Teaneck is not full of Jews “infected by a nochri spirit.” What a pot shot against people unlike yourself, the YU/Modern Orthodox community.

    Teaneck is full of many huge talmidei chachamim and gedolim- Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky, Rabbi Nati Helfgot, Rabbi Ronald Price, etc.


    I actually wrote a whole long essay detailing different areas of Monsey and their levels of saturation with chassidim, until I realized how useless it was. Chassidim are people, they are a big part of life in Monsey, if you don’t like it move elsewhere, etc. etc. Unless you want to live in New Hempstead or Pomona and only shop in Wesley Kosher your whole life (not even Costco or the Palisades Mall), you should probably look into someplace else to live. This is not meant antagonistically. It is meant realistically, the perspective of someone who has lived here her whole life.


    yosef999- monsey is a wonderful community and it has all kind of different “yidden”, from “yeshivish” to “chassidish”, to a sprinkling of M/O. The center (or downtown) is very heavily “chassidish”,dominated by Vishnitz. The “outer fringes” (Wesley hills, Forshay, Concord, New Hmepstead, Airmont,etc..)have a mixture, leaning to “yeshivhish”. go visit the neighbourhoods, try to spend a shabbos there and you will find your niche. And don’t forget the advantages of having Rockland Kosher and ZIshe’s next to each other!


    rabbiofberlin: Though you can’t really functionally get to one from the other except by car, and the Zishe’s parking lot is a war zone. However, as it’s a war zone with the best vanilla rugalech you will ever taste (made by chassidim, at that), it is pretty much worth it even if you come out with a few scars :).

    There are, though, bigger or smaller concentrations of chassidim in different outer areas. If the post office calls it Monsey (except the Concord area) then you can expect to find more chassidim. Spring Valley, either yeshivish (if New Hempstead) or chassidish (not the greatest neighborhood anyway, however). Wesley Hills, Pomona, Forshay- probably not. But even in these areas, unless you only shop in WK, which is impossible as the other stores are MUCH better, you will bump into chassidim. (I assume yosef isn’t interested in Airmont as all the nearby shopping is in the 306/59 area.)

    Also, you mentioned something like a shteibel on every corner. I assume that you realize that Monsey is stretched out. You need a car, you may never see your neighbor two doors down, etc. You can pretty much pick where to go.

    aspiring rabbi

    In the residential non-Chasidish neighborhoods north of Viola and some south of 59 (and others i.e. olympia as well) there isn’t such a Chasidish presence. That being said, all commercial areas are heavily populated by Chasidim. After all, without the Chasidim, Monsey would not have the wide range of stores that make it suitable for frum life. Being that Monsey is so suburban, the residential and commercial areas (especially being that most stores are confined to the main st. area) are kept seperate. The only way to truly see is to go visit!


    The very essence of the thought process behind the OP, is pure sinas chinam.


    I have been to Flatbush, and although Borough Park is next door, you do not feel like you live among-st Chassidim at all. The area I have been to feels pretty much “misnagdish”. So I suppose Flatbush would be a good parallel. Chasidim live in the next neighborhood over, yet one can live in Flatbush among-st their own.

    You can go to 13th ave to shop or visit B.P. but your neighborhood is your own type. The same thing with Crown Heights and all the areas in Brooklyn of what I have seen.

    But the feel I am getting from the bloggers is that Monsey is not like that. It is less segregated. However due to the fact that it is suburban you do not feel it as much. Correct?

    Can anyone who knows both places try and compare the two locations with regard to the chasidish/misnagdish sociological blend.



    Flatbush has a strong Chasidish constituency that is integrated into the fabric of the frum neighborhood longside the Litvish presence. Boro Park has a notable Litvish constituency (even greater than the Flatbush Chasidim) completely integrated with the Chasidim.

    The main difference being that while Boro Park is nearly completely frum, Flatbush has a large goyish presence. Which is, essentially, what you seem to like.

    So perhaps a recommendation of moving to Little Italy or Little Manila might be more up your alley.


    I just want to support the OP in his question. I do not believe it is sinas chinam to want to live among people whose hashkafa and mode of dress you share, irrespective of how wonderful other Jews may also be. I think his Flatbush/BP comment was excellent, too.


    VERY different. The difference is that Flatbush is big enough to support its own stores, which cater to its misnagdish community. Monsey has pretty much one main Jewish shopping district, the 306/59 area, where EVERYONE goes (and I mean everyone. Like I said, WK is NOT enough). There is one Costco where EVERYONE goes. There is the Palisades Mall where EVERYONE goes. There are a few isolated shopping centers, like the WK one and that one on Saddle River Road, but those are not enough to survive on, and like aspiringrabbi said, chassidim own most of the best places to shop around here.

    On any given day, you may not feel it as much. You might buy a nice house on Sherri Lane or McNamara Road, go to a nice litvishe shul, have nice litvishe neighbors, and hop over to WK to get a loaf of bread- but if you want to do anything more interesting than that, like drive your kid to practically any school except YSV Girls, Bas Mikra or Chofetz Chaim, or eat anywhere except Al Di La or Bubba’s, or any of the thousand and one things most people need to do, you’ll have to bump into chassidim.

    It depends on whether that’s a dealbreaker for you. If it is, I gotta say that that surprises me a bit, but that’s your business, not mine.


    HaKatan- there’s a difference between wanting to live with people like you and bedavka NOT wanting to live with people who aren’t. I live in a very JPF neighborhood in Monsey, with people who are a lot more like me than chassidim are, but the fact that chassidim shop in the same stores isn’t a problem for me. I could be misreading the OP’s intentions, but that’s the gut reaction from reading his OP.


    yosef999- From the way you’re writing, DON’T move to Monsey! I’ve been there and IT”S HAUNTED! they, (the men with the sideburn hairlocks) lurk at street corners and WILL pounce upon you! They will cross the street right in front of your car and even knock into your car. knock on your car window. They will stick their thumb out at you and knock and mumble something in yiddish. (my friend told me one of them said “I will eat you”)

    seriously, calm down.

    If you wake up late, you can still go to Viznitz or Satmar

    If you get a flat, Chaveirim will fix it for you

    If you have taste for good food, you will find yourself in their takeouts once in a while

    If you are hurt, they will be on Hatzlah saving you

    If you cannot afford shabbos meals, they will deliver it to you


    well put Talmud

    yose999 I hope this was a joke you sound really antisemitic



    Maybe I should have worded the OP differently however I think that there are a lot of super sensitive people out there.

    I do not want to live among-st Chasidim. They are fine people but I still would rather be surrounded by my own. Why the big deal?

    Very many communities the world over are of a specific type. Yes, there is always variation – no one is the same – but there is a certain style. And when a neighborhood starts to change, people of one kind start to move out. Why? Can’t they just live and let live? The answer is that it is not about hate. It is about personal preference.

    If you know anything about the different communities of New York over the last century it is 100% true.

    Not everyone that says something that rubs you wrong is an Anti Semite. I know that comes as a surprise but try to digest it.


    Okay, then there was just unfortunate wording in your OP. Fine.

    In that case, I do think you’ll find that what I wrote in my posts stands as information you may want to use.


    Thank you Writersoul. Your comments are most informative.


    Basically from what I hear, just center Monsey is being ‘taken over’ (stick it up, lit fish stick) this includes the area of the main marketplaces.

    (also, I’ve never heard the term ‘Misnagdish’ in the last 2 centuries)

    I heard that the MO emptied out to Teaneck

    YW Moderator-72

    I had a friend that went to camp and those that went with him came from all backgrounds – Yeshivish, Chassidish, non-religious and everything in-between.

    The only thing they had in common was that they were Jews when they entered the camp. Upon leaving the camp – they had 2 things in common – 1) they were still Jews and 2) they had either no or very few relatives left.

    They were all of different backgrounds yet they shares bunkhouses and bunkbeds. Sadly, many of them shares the same “showers”.


    I have lived in BP… short stay in Lakewood and Monsey for many years. We loved each place for what it had to offer, including Chassidim…. Personally we prefer Monsey for all the good things Talmud said.

    Imaofthree, no hatred of any kind… Although I am sensitive when Yidden start to separate us like the drafter did. It’s why I posted the story of the Chasida … If you don’t know it ask your husband.

    From Satmar to Vishnitz to Bobover to Ohr Samayach I daven at all, even Tuvias…. And the best barber around Shimon … Monsey has it all and every place I have been in Monsey has been very welcoming … And ZIshe’s has the best rugelach.

    And WriterReader, that is exactly how I took it when I first read it. Hope he finds a great community. Monsey is closed…hehehehe


    I live in the perfect neighborhood for you. My neighbors are so anti anyone who isnt as yeshivish/litvish as them. They did get some people in my neighborhood to conform to their type(put on hat, wear white shirts..). They will not give you an aliya if you have the wrong havarah. They actually had a meeting discussing ways to insure chasidim dont move here. They failed since a few blocks away shtreimels moved in. I am ready to move out, do you want to buy my house? Maybe a new person like you would have great ideas how to keep the others out.

    By the way, I am part of the others they want to keep out. The problem is that I was here first.


    “stay in Teaneck if you are one of the Yidden who have been poisoned by the nochrim”

    That is a pretty disgusting thing to say.


    We used to be just Yidden. When we return to just being Yidden we become whole again. The question itself separates us… If you can’t see that then you are more assimilated than you’d like to admit.


    momx4, with all due respect, I am not sure where you got this idea in your head that I am yeshivish because I am not. Nor do I want to be. I hate to be rude, but I do not believe a word you wrote. I do not believe that they will not give you an aliya if you have a different havarah or anything else you wrote. I think you are super super super sensitive.

    Monseeyid, you claim that you like all Jews yet you wrote a vicious thing about a whole group of Jews in Teaneck. Your double standard is glaring. I sure hope I do not find a home near yours and my kids do not go to your kids school. And I hope they do not associate with Talmud’s kids either since they are probably horrible people. Read his post.

    A lot of nice other folk however. I hate to be mean, but some bloggers who on the one hand defend Jews, on the other hand scorn other types, instead of just being happy with who they are. There is nothing wrong with not wanting to be in a community of a different type, there is something wrong with hating them.

    I do not hate. I am simply sure of what I want and do not want.


    take a chill pill

    old man

    Off the main topic, sorry, but why a hyphen in the word amongst?


    I lived in Monsey as a bochur for a few years and continued to visit many times over the years and I always marveled myself at the pleasant natural integration of the litvish and chassidish elements. In so many shuls, you’ll see all types davening together. It made a strong impression on me then and I always recall it fondly.

    I don’t like getting into specifics about a specific group or place here. It’s a great place to live if you need to be close to the city. But property taxes are through the roof.

    Jewishly, you’ll have everything you need. I have found that the more I deemphasized the groups- I have become more enriched from benefitting from all what each has to offer to our Avodas Hashem. Monsey, for me, was the beginning of that approach.


    If for any reason you are contemplating to reside in Monsey but commute to Manhattan with saying prayers on a bus, don’t even consider moviong to Monsey. This is an absolute total Bizoyon of the tenet “Da Lifnei Mi Attoh Omed” and couldn’t be a more reprehensible forum for addressing The Melech Malchei haMelochim.


    Yosef999 go to Passaic…BTU… Ask for Rabbi Zupnik… Bring your posting … Talk with him… He is one wonderful Rabbi who will be able to help you. Just spiff balling here but I am wondering if you are really interested in learning or if you came here to separate Yidden.


    Yosef, stop listening to all the negativity the only way for you to know for sure is to try it. Moving is a very serious decision. We invite you to come and try out our nice little community for Shabbos. You will find a there a very healthy mix of people. We are all very close and get a long like no other community. Feel free to reach out to us if you want to find out more about our community and come for shabbos.

    we don’t allow links


    I think many people are misunderstanding the OP.

    I’ve often gone to SeaGate or similar new mother homes after having a baby. They are predominently used by the chassidishe community. I am yeshivishe and feel comfortable shmuzing with all the ladies, yeshivishe, modern or very chasidishe. With roommates however, I felt the most comfortable with those who are yeshivishe like me.

    When you live somewhere, especially if there’s close quarters, and the majority around you have different minhogim, especially when their minhogim are more stringent than yours, it’s hard to feel comfortable and happy.

    One may tend to feel inferior or just feel like an outsider because everyone knows each other, they share a lot of “Jewish geography” together, send their children to the same schools, share similar outlooks and experiences. What’s very fancy clothing, homes, or food to you, may be ordinary for them. Your day to day experiences and expectations in your role as a husband/wife/employee may be very different. You may feel uncomfortable with a style of dress that is different from yours.

    Monsey seems to be the best location geographically for the OP, but he wants to feel comfortable and “in his element”, there’s nothing wrong with that.

    Probably, besides for a Shabbos visit, I’d advise a touring drive around town.



    Monsey has a strong, independent Litvish population, but if you venture out of the Litvish residential neighborhoods you will more likely than not bump into Chassidim. The shopping/commercial areas are pretty much integrated, but the residential neighborhoods each retain their own flavor (which is helped by the fact that everything is spread out).


    With regard to my comment about comming for shabbos, I didn’t realize that YWN doesn’t allow any links and I included my email address in the post. you can get my email address from our website. its pomonashul then add dot com. I spelled it out so it won’t get removed


    kollel_wife: very well put.

    I just want to mention as an aside that terms such as litvish, misnagdish, yeshivish, modern etc – although they conjure up in the mind a general idea – mean different things to different people. Some reflect ancestry and style others reflect political and or levels/types of religiosity. Some people think of “litvish” or “yeshivish” as a level of frumkeit, others think of it as a mode of dress/style/attitude. “modern” is also a very large and varied spectrum and these things have more to do with each persons perspective and background than anything else. Even within these general boundaries there are the “in town” types and the “out of town” types, “Hungarian” (style not background) yekkish and on and on until you want to throw up.

    I am writing this because some people are suggesting that I meet this Rabbi or check out this area. I really do appreciate it – however I think Kollel_Wife really hit in on the head. I gotta do the tour. Stay for shabbos and a couple days here and there and feel it out.

    I just do not got the time…another issue.

    Anyway, everyone thanks for all the input. This OP has been very enlightening.


    yosef999: If someone wrote (to paraphrase your OP) “I have nothing against blacks, however I can not live with them” and then proceeded to inquire to make sure there weren’t too many blacks in a prospective neighborhood, would you have a problem with that statement? Or do you only have a problem with Jews?

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    Abiecab, you’re in agreement with WriterReader.


    abiecab: I would not have an issue with that statement, actually. I for one could not live amongst blacks. I do not dislike blacks but I couldn’t live with them.

    Millions of whites nowadays would tell you the same thing. Do you they are all black haters? Perhaps 50 years ago more of it would have been motivated by racism, however in the past half century there has been a massive liberal push toward equality and the younger generation for the most part do not dislike blacks (how many whites voted for Obama? would never have happened a generation ago)

    Yet, most communities have a predominate color, mode of living, level of income etc. Yes there are places that are integrated, but that is not the general rule. Take a ride through inner cities, suburban communities and rural areas or up in the mountains. You could even ride through any of the boroughs of New York City and it becomes immediately apparent that humanity dwells amongst its own sub classes.

    No, I do not have an issue with other Jews. I do however think that if you can not understand something as straight forward as this you are not very intelligent.


    This entire thread is disturbing…you have wonderful Yidden offering themselves to this person and he doesn’t respond in a manner one would expect. Are we being played by missionary?


    I am sorry if this thread is giving off the wrong tone. I started it off perhaps in the wrong way, but there has been great input. I really do appreciate it.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    I am sorry if this thread is giving off the wrong tone.

    I will tell you why it gives off the “wrong tone”. If you were merely interested in having friends and acquaintances who are similar to you, that would be one thing, but why should it bother you if there are plenty of “them” around? Why should meeting “them” in supermarkets and restaurants disturb you? You can still daven in a “Litvishe” shul if you want.

    And the line “do you feel like they are all around you, or taking over” makes the disclaimer which follows ring hollow.


    Wk613, BP is nowhere near completely frum.there is a large Chinatown and 13 ave beyond 60 st is mostly not Jewish.


    less: Chinatown is outside BP. It starts at about 10th Ave, where Jewish BP essentially ends. Neighborhoods aren’t defined by technical boundries (in fact legally there are no exact boundaries for NYC neighborhoods) but rather by similar neighbors. Neighborhood boundries are constantly shifting. And Jewish BP has expanded further and further out (on all four sides) for many years. The core of BP is almost entirely frum. (Roughly speaking between 11th and 21st & between 39th and 60th. Though many blocks outside that area are heavily frum too.)

    DY: Thank you for making a point to point that out as often as you do, including where there was no expressed agreement or mention of the same points. Your point is well taken. Great authors are recognized by their literary works even without attribution.

    yosef9: If you put an ad out for your basement apartment for rent that exluded an ethnic group you’d be in legal trouble even if you tried explaining that you simply couldn’t live with folks of that ethnicity or race. Nevertheless, I sympathize and agree with your second to last comment above not wanting to live with that specific group. Where we part company is when you carry over that feeling to frum Jews, whether it is not wanting to live near too many Sefardim or near too many Yekkes (cause you’re not a Yekke), etc. You should be comfortable living near and with any type of frum Jews.


    What if HaKodesh Barachu sent him to tell us we are not who we think we are.

    First he insulted me, then he insulted my friends, then my community. Now I am wondering if there is more to his dribble than just dribble… Maybe its a good time we all take an accounting of our behavior, our family and friends and our community as a whole.

    Assuming he is a Yid for the purposes of this discussion, we should be embarrassed that a fellow Yid would not want to live with certain parts of the tzibur.

    And if he’s not a Yid, then how disgusting have we become that Ribono Shel Olam had to send this person to tell us?

    When you get deep into Monsey for sake of discussion, we are different than a Yid who is coming from the outside… We share the same “religion” but they are not us nor are we them… Even though we carry a piece of the same neshama. We don’t want outsiders who carry the virus with them, this is why we have Ohr Samayach, whereas we heard the Rosh Yeshiva say the Ohr Samayach is not a Yeshiva but an emergency room for Yidden … Yidden that want to come home.

    We host bochurim from Ohr Samayach for Shabbos… We shed tears when they leave, you know how difficult it is to see a distressed neshama? If you don’t then try hosting these young men who have the tenacity to leave behind what they know to become like us and here we have someone telling us we are not the kind of people he wants to partner up with… How sad that is.


    I am a Jew I am a Jew I am a Jew.

    Ani Yosef Haod avi chai?

    Ich been a yid.

    Anee Yihudee.

    Ich bin gimalt.

    How else can I possibly say it?


    Just behave like a Jew. Practice “vahavtu l’reiachu kumuchu” (zeh klall gudol baTorah) and you’ll be accepted here. Ironic how you’re getting a taste of your own medicine.


    People like to live with like minded people. People who have the same general outlook on things . While they may not agree 100% on things, they generally will agree. People you will go over to each others houses, Have your kids play with their kids etc.

    It is sinas Chinam to say I wont live with THOSE people. Like the poster who said If you want to live like a Nochri move to Teaneck. However its NOT Sinas chinam to say I want to live with these people. ie I want to live in an area with lots of Chassidish velt, lots of Shteibels. Yiddish widely spoken. etc.

    Decide who you want to live with, not who you DONT want to live with

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