Orthodox Jewish enclave faces growth, conflict

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The downtown section of Clifton Avenue, rather quiet on this day, with a variety of residents. The township of Lakewood, N.J., is undergoing a population explosion. Photo courtesy of USA Today

The downtown section of Clifton Avenue, rather quiet on this day, with a variety of residents. The township of Lakewood, N.J., is undergoing a population explosion. Photo courtesy of USA Today

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LAKEWOOD, N.J. -- For some longtime residents, the message, intentional or not, is plain: This is an Orthodox area now.

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  • Garson Abuita

    I get that there areOrthodox excesses in Lakewood, especially when it comes to the public school district, but to criticize business owners for catering to the Jewish population is unfair. It sounds like the critic wants the dry cleaner to be open on Saturday and closed Sunday. Why should that be the case if most of his customers won’t do business on Saturday? (Cf. The Big Lebowski).
    Supermarkets are a low-margin, highly competitive business. ShopRite has a huge presence in New Jersey and I think they’ll be okay without one in Lakewood itself. NJ ShopRites are also known for The Kosher Experience, a store-in-store that sells only kosher food. So maybe the Lakewood one just wasn’t competing as well with kosher supermarkets.

  • Curious

    The blog Failed Messiah, run by a Jewish journalist, has had some interesting coverage of Lakewood.

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  • Kendall Muller

    I personally have no problem with the Orthodox Jewish community in Lakewood, most of the people within their community are very polite respectful people. However, many of the wealthy members of the Orthodox Jewish community sometimes harass homeowners to sell their homes when we also want to share and be part of Lakewood. On one occasion we’ve had a Jewish male contact us to sell our home in which we politely rejected our decision and made a snarky remark stating that we should leave Lakewood, he doesn’t care where we go, we just need to leave. The selfishness needs to end in Lakewood, Lakewood should be shared. I’d love to see Lakewood turn into a multicultural town similar to the likes of Cherry Hill or Freehold.

  • Kathy

    Bull….they buy it up section 8 it until demolition is mandatory….then it’s a new Orthodox neighborhood. Welcoming all….I think not!