So many people assume that Hasidim, like other conservative groups, vote on religious values issues. They assume that Hasidim care about gay marriage and abortion, because that's a Christian conservative political issue. I often explain the distinction in Ultra Orthodox Jewish attitudes towards politics and that of the Conservative Right. While the conservative right considers the law as a source...

Someone just sent me a message through my business website. They apologized that they are not exactly messaging about my services (walking tours / food tours). But: could I help them find an apartment in Hasidic Williamsburg? This. This is what I occupy my time with. And requests from photographers to photograph Hasidic kids. I get asked to be connected to Hasidim...

As a tour guide in Hasidic Williamsburg, I've gotten used to being asked this question. The first time I explained how Hasidim are educated - with all emphasis on religious learning - and I got this question, I didn't expect it. Having grown up Hasidic I wasn't used to thinking of education in the strictly vocational way that secular people...

I’ve worked in the Hasidic (Satmar) community since I was seventeen. Not to give my age away, but that’s some fifteen years and counting. These are all the Hungarian Hasidim from Williamsburg and sattelites; not the more Americanized ChabadHasidim. There are some Hasidic men with whom I’ve had a professional relationship for my entire adult life, and yet I’ve never had a...

I’m a tour guide in Hasidic Williamsburg, and visitors to this community often wonder about the economy. What’s interesting is that on the one hand, the children on Lee Avenue are often dressed to the nines in matching outfits, babies are pushed in designer strollers, and you will not see a homeless person at any street corner. Yet statistically, the...

The Jewish Federation of North America released a poverty study in 2011 (and updated it in 2013) about the Jewish population in New York City. According to their finding “Hasidic households have the second-largest number of poor households and the third-highest incidence of poverty of any group.” Russian-speaking seniors came in first as the largest group of poor Jewish households in New York. In an...

Translation: The Committee for Saving Williamsburg; Notice and Warning: It has come to our attention that a resident of our city has sold 2 properties on 176/178 Division Avenue to someone from outside "our city" for a high price, which puts the project in danger of being built for artists, god-forbid. The rabbis have written in their proclamation on the first of cheshvon 5764: “We...

Here's how incredibly different Hasidic NYC is from most of the rest of the city: as far as I observed, there is no tipping. The other day I overheard a secular woman ask the waiter at Gottlieb's Restaurant if he was sure there is no gratuity. The waiter smiled and insisted, in heavily accented English, that there is no gratuity....