MAILBAG: Plea From Jackson Resident to Those Considering Moving to Towns Surrounding Lakewood


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I’m hoping this letter will serve as an eye opener to all of our frum brothers and sisters out there looking to relocate to any of Lakewood’s neighboring towns. I’m only publicizing this this disturbing chillul Hashem I just witnessed, in hopes to avoid any kind of recurrence chas v’shalom.

I live at the crossroads of 2 quiet blocks. A house recently went up for sale which attracted a huge amount of showings. There is a very large bus stop at this corner where all the neighbors wait for their children to come home from school. So they’re all waiting at abt 3:50, when a minivan that pulled away from this house makes a u-turn at the corner RIGHT IN FRONT of them. Needless to say all their hands go flying up on disappointment.

A second later the bus is rolling down the street and at the same time a second minivan that pulled away from this house makes a u-turn RIGHT IN FRONT of the bus!!! The bus had to wait for the van to make the turn while all the parents at the corner waited and watched in disappointment with their hands flying up again!

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be sensitive to your surroundings as some of us are clearly oblivious to them. Careless actions like these only adds salt to the open wounds for our neighbors. It also doesn’t really spread too much positive energy towards all of the frum families already living in these neighborhoods.

Whether or not you end up moving here is irrelevant. When looking at a secular house, one has a GOLDEN opportunity to make a tremendous kiddush Hashem! The way one speaks to the current owners, the questions that one asks, the tone of speech, the noise level when outside the house.

Know that ALL the neighbors have their guards up. Please utilize these situations to make a kiddush Hashem and not chas v’shalom a chillul Hashem!!

Thank you!

Name withheld upon request.

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.


(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


  1. post this on the Lakewood scoop – not here – just pure L”H with no toeles!

    Also, minivan does not = jewish. I’ve seen many hispanics driving brand new minivans lately.

    There are many americans that have minivans too. (Toyota didn’t make the model for us!)

  2. “When looking at a secular house, one has a GOLDEN opportunity to make a tremendous kiddush Hashem”

    What is a “secular” house as distinct from a non-secular, religious or other type of house??? And why is acting line a normal person with normal midos and civility now considered a Kiddush hashem? Just curious.

  3. Secular house? Throwing hands up on disappointment? This was either written by a non-native English speaker, or it’s Purim Op-Ed.

  4. Neville: Having thought about it for a while, I think he means a normal residential house that will not be purchased by some yidden with the intent of converting the structure to a shtieblach contrary to the wishes of the local residents.

  5. 1-I agree with Chaimberlin that the article was not written well.
    2- Most importantly YWN, some op eds are obviously apolitical and true and having your disclaimer next to them is pointless and belittles the article . When there are no 2 opinions on a subject please keep out the disclaimer.
    3- A problem that exists in Lakewood expansion is Lakewood itself. When living in such a Jewish environment people naturally feel more at home and don’t think so much about their actions. Lakewood has been working on that with various programs(driving etc…) but the problem is certainly there. People moving out aren’t in the ” moving out of town ” mode that makes a person realize his new responsibilities. It is incumbent on the Lakewood community to make sure that people moving just a bit out of Lakewood realize that, with respect to their new neighbors, are moving to a place where no one understands them or has some negative preconceived notions about them. In short 5 minutes outside Lakewood is Olney, IL., Topsail NC, Zeeland IN, or any of the thousands of little towns that dot this country.

  6. Here’s another warning to those considering moving to Tom’s River: it is a superfund site. That means there is serious contamination with potential to harm human health including [email protected] Please do your research before moving to any superfund site. There’s a reason why such seemingly nice properties there are so cheap…

  7. Okay, you can nitpick the wording and the typos. Does this make you happy? Does it detract in the slightest from the point the writer was trying to make?
    I agree with GH that behaving with basic human decency is not a Kiddush Hashem. Nevertheless, to paraphrase something I heard in the name of Rav Shteinman, at least avoid making a Chillul Hashem!

  8. Excellent letter. Some people just don’t realize what they doing and how their actions make a big negative impact on them and everyone else. No wonder why they hate us and don’t want us in their towns

  9. I am not clear on what the first minivan did wrong.

    While of course we need to make any extra effort at all times, whether looking at secular houses or holy houses, to be mekadesh sheym shomayim, sometimes residents will throw their hands up in disapproval every time a Jew takes a breathe. We don’t need to kowtow to anyone.

  10. details missing from the story? is making a u turn such a big deal? do suburban people not make u turns. “picking up the hands” is just a way of saying ” there goes another home… they have a right to be disappointed .. and you can buy
    should we be more sensitive? yes..
    ps . and when a vehichle waits 2 seconds for another car is that too a problem?

  11. My impression is that the letter writer doesn’t speak English as a first language, and the letter may have been written with some help from a dictionary. However, that does not pasul out the main point. We are easily identified, and it’s so true that “Kol Yisroel areivem zeh l’zeh,” since whatever one of us does, it reflects on us all. We are required to act with courtesy and menschlichkeit at all times, and especially when there are non-frum/non-Jewish eyes to observe.

    Add to this the anxiety that non-frum people feel when they see a frum person come to look at a house, and it becomes doubly important that we behave well, and consider all our actions in advance. Do you complain that we are held to a higher standard than others? We ought to be. We are the Am HaNivchar and the Torah’s ambassador to the world.

  12. Neither the identities of anyone involved nor the exact location have been identified so there’s no loshon hara here. However, the opinion expressed here is 100 percent correct. It’s bad enough that many towns these days are making every effort to keep Jews out, despite their reasons. This would only exacerbate the problem.

  13. “the anxiety that non-frum people feel when they see a frum person come to look at a house”
    There’s a word for that: Antisemitism.

  14. This is just another example of a much more pervasive problem. We Yidden in general need to always remember we are guests in this country and the goyim are always watching us. It’s not the u turns in Lakewood. It’s the rude dangerous driving in Brooklyn, Monsey, the Five Towns and any other frum community. I don’t know why but there’s this attitude out there that “I” own the roads and don’t need to give the right of way to anybody else. How dare “you” come to a full stop at a stop sign when I’m behind you running late for shachris! Or I’m late for Shul, they won’t mind if I block their drive way for just an hour. They’ll understand.

    This is such a huge problem with so many manifestations. Did anybody see the video of the car in Boro Park drive on the sidewalk to avoid the traffic almost mowing down young kids?

    It’s embarrassing how badly we behave, as a group. No wonder the goyim hate us. We keep giving them reasons to.

  15. “the anxiety that non-frum people feel when they see a frum person come to look at a house”
    There’s a word for that: Antisemitism.

    Many non-frum people like the public schools and kids for their friends to play with and maybe even friends for themselvves. Frum people tend not to care about public school or public libraries and dont want their kids to play with non-frum kids.

    Also the non-frum might want o eat at the local treif restaurant on Friday Night, if all frum people come, that place will close and something aimed at the frum community will be built.

    This was a problem in the hamptons where jews moved into an area with non-kosher restraurants and Bakeries and did not patronize them (for obvious reasons) and the places had to close

  16. Neville: can it be anti-Semitism when the person who’s anxious is also a Jew? And the non-Jew who might not care if a Conservative or MO family moves in, may still feel anxious when seeing someone who not only looks so different, but also is part of a group which has gotten such a bad reputation (not all of which is undeserved)?

    If you double-park in someone’s driveway and make them late for work, it isn’t anti-Semitism if they get mad at you. They’d get mad if it were another non-Jew, much less someone who gives them an attitude when they complain. As ftresi notes, we are guests here, in a country which has done tremendous chassadim for us since WWII. Shouldn’t we behave in a manner that will cause people to say, “Happy are those who learn Torah?”