May 16, 2018
Brooklyn Yeshiva Numbers Decline
Illustration photo by Shneur Shif

The number of students in Brooklyn's frum schools declined for the first time as young families escape the city's high living costs.

By Yochonon Donn - Hamodia

In a vivid example of recent population trends, the number of students in Brooklyn’s yeshivos showed its first-ever decline since the borough became an Orthodox powerhouse a century ago, according to an analysis of state education data.

The borough home to Williamsburg, Boro Park, Flatbush and Crown Heights still has a commanding lead with the most number of students in New York state — it has 81,350 students. But this is down by 1,184 from 2017. And it is up from the 64,721 number of students a decade ago.

The Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council, which compiled the data from statistics made available by the New York State Education Department, said that Brooklyn’s decline is a direct effect of rising home costs.

“Young families are leaving in large numbers to [other] counties or to New Jersey,” OJPAC said in a statement accompanying the study. “Consider: While enrollment in Brooklyn rose by 3,248 students the last five years, full day kindergarten enrollment dropped by 582 students from five years ago.”

In contrast, Lakewood’s yeshivah population rose by 50 percent in the past five years. While the number of students through 12th grade in the 2013 school years was 20,92, it is currently at 31,376, according to data from the New Jersey Department of Education.

Overall, the study showed, there are 151,828 students enrolled in New York yeshivos for the current school year in kindergarten through 12th grade. This is an increase of 2,266 from last year and a steep rise from the 113,387 students 10 years ago.

To compare, the total non-public school enrollment in the state has dropped since 2008 by about 31,000, or more than 7 percent. During that period, enrollment in yeshivos rose by 34 percent.

This means that while 10 years ago yeshivos represented 26 percent of the non-public school population, it currently makes up nearly 40 percent.

The county with the second-most number of yeshivah students is Rockland, which is home to Monsey, Spring Valley and New Square. It has a student population of 27,859, up by 1,888 from last year. Rockland’s yeshivah enrollment is up by a whopping 74 percent from just 10 years ago.

The county that is home to Kiryas Joel, Orange County, has 13,400 yeshivah students, up by 1,209 and 78 percent from 10 years ago.

Queens also showed a modest rise with its 11,489 yeshivah students, as did Nassau County with 7,771 students. Manhattan has 4,441 students, down slightly from last year.

Each yeshivah student receives from the state, on average, less than $1,500 in public services a year, compared to the more than $21,000 invested in every public school student. The gap of more than $19,500 per student saves taxpayers approximately $2.96 billion in funding each year.


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Opinions and Comments
1
New Haven Connecticut
Growing Community!
(5/16/2018 4:45:00 PM)
2
well duh
brooklyn stinks. tiny houses for $1million and they are dumps.
(5/16/2018 4:53:35 PM)
3
Obviously
Any thinking person saw this writing on the wall a long time ago.
The community in CH will not shrink in the near future, but it will certainly stop growing and then decline.
The next generation has moved on emotionally; they will not and can not pay $2m+ for a home.
(5/16/2018 4:59:13 PM)
4
I’m moving to New Jersey
Where I can afford a house and enjoy the safety of a lower crime rate than Brooklyn.
(5/16/2018 5:10:29 PM)
5
Inevitable
Was bound to happen eventually. Intake numbers reached their peak (fees too high), and now will be in a steady decline.
(5/16/2018 5:17:22 PM)
6
Intake numbers?
What do you mean by this?
(5/16/2018 6:20:34 PM)
7
Outta here
Good bye Brooklyn. Hello jersey. For obvious reasons
(5/16/2018 6:23:26 PM)
8
Miss crown heights
It is The Rebbes home ans I want to be there every shabbos
But the crime , cost of living and lack of space, make it India le.
Just as Lubavitch left lubavitch they may have to leave crown heights. I
(5/16/2018 6:38:52 PM)
9
Smart young families
Smart young families should avoid tying themselves under the yoke of a crushing mortgage and seek fresh communities outside of Crown Heights. Peace of mind.....
(5/16/2018 6:45:29 PM)
10
Come to Santa Monica
California
(5/16/2018 8:11:38 PM)
11
Old story
This was in the making 30 years ago.
What goes up must come down.
(5/16/2018 8:21:55 PM)
12
Crown Heights not affordable for new couples
With one bedrooms going for more then 1200, there is no way a young couple can afford to make it on their own. The effect on sholom bayis, and the young children- who are being raised by heartless babysitters- because both parents are forced to work full time- is devastating. The impact is already being felt by those teaching these children in elementary ...

After 120.. what will the community leaders say they did to stop this?
(5/16/2018 8:58:02 PM)
13
to #4
forget New Jersey! Pomona is the hot spot! Families of all kinds,lubavitch,litvish,chassidish etc. are pouring into beautiful Pomona! in the last 2 years several shuls opened plus on route 202 there are 2 pizza shops!
(5/16/2018 9:33:51 PM)
14
People listing communities
But what about yeshivos? It is not fun to be chabad in a beis yaakov or other yeshivas
(5/16/2018 10:39:25 PM)
15
I guess
What can you expect? An expensive education that raises adults who can barely read the language of their own location. They cant tell you who Isaac Newton is or apply anything above basic algebra to their lives. And on the Torah side it's either sink or swim, so if you don't have a head for gemara or hassidut and your teachers dont excite you, you are left behind. Then one might even rebel, as young people do. So what's left is a broken system, and EVERY SINGLE person Ive spoken with under 30 has the same opinion. So what is pushing anyone to utilize a sub-par, costly education? I don't like it, I would prefer everyone have a fire for learning Torah and teachers who instill the power all the subjects, secular and otherwise, contain. But that isnt the case.
(5/16/2018 11:02:34 PM)
16
New Haven.....
New Haven charges $7,000 per child for elementary and a whopping $18,000 for Mesivta and Zal!!!
Now, even with lower housing prices, who can afford such ridiculous price gauging?
Not to mention, those in charge expect each family to pay $10,000 membership fee in ordsr to be allowed to Daven in their shul. That is not okay
(5/16/2018 11:05:01 PM)
17
Property taxes
Houses may cost less but tuition and property taxes are much higher out of CH
(5/17/2018 3:13:30 AM)
18
CH ain't perfect
But when you move out of town, factor in the cost of higher tuition, food, two cars, gas, etc.
(5/17/2018 5:58:08 AM)
19
ignoring the elephants in the room
how many new families aren't sending their kids to yeshivas, and how many former students are unmarried and/or no longer religious?
(5/17/2018 8:23:35 AM)
20
Number 18
Nope. Thats not the case. Tuition is slightly higher out of town thats true, but car, gas, food is all the same. The biggest difference is the housing costs wich factor out much much higher of the lifetime of a person in terms of mortgage. BUT.... theres 50 plus families in east flatbush with more moving EVERY week.
(5/17/2018 8:53:13 AM)
21
The REAL growing community in West Orange New Jersey!!
There are a few young families that recently moved in.
A brand new Supermarket is opening up in June.
And a brand new chinese restaurant.
The housing market starts from 300k and above. And taxes are the expensive part... Which can be around 8k and above.
(5/17/2018 9:26:49 AM)
22
stockpiling
The fact is that over the last 2 /3 years many well to-do families in CH have been purchasing multiple homes ( in many cases, 3,4,5 homes that they intend to pass on to their children. I am not exaggerating.

if you are not from that demographic WAKE UP and begin taking an honest look at other options. You will realize soon that the tide is working against the average working person.

This is not meant to be upset or bitter- This is simple reporting of the facts and trends.

At this rate, CH is trending to be a playground for the rich and apartments for the poor ( section 8). The middle class, as usual are being squeezed.

But- we have the freedom to act by looking elsewhere and taking a stand - by picking up and moving into spacious homes in fresher communities.

PS. even the chassidsh from BP are beginning to move into Toms River and Lakewood in growing numbers.

(5/17/2018 11:14:37 AM)
23
Berel
@22

that's not it, there is nobody to blame

If all the supposed families that are buying 3-5 homes each (at 1.5-2 million, I suppose) would leave them on the market, then what?

the housing supply in CH is stagnant or at best increases linearly (ha!), and B"H our population grows exponentially.

It's a fundamental mismatch.

There is even a posuk that describes the phenomenon:

"Be Fruitful and Multiply and *Fill* the Land" Or how about

"Uforatzta Yomo voKeidma..."

There is no choice but to expand, whether that is outward in Brooklyn or elsewhere.

The next generation will look to move elsewhere, my guess is Florida, is the next best place begashmius.

I'm not moving because my life is built in this community, but as I have no house to grant my children, I expect it likely that at least some of them will move out.

Nobody to blame, it is what it is.
(5/17/2018 1:31:09 PM)
24
Israel
Move to Israel where yeshiva is affordable. If you are good at high tech or computers there are jobs. Even tutoring Englishbiscan option. Prices there for real estate are rising too however. But its not like here. You can find housing outside aJerusalem...or move to a yishuv like Bat Ayin.
(5/22/2018 8:19:27 PM)
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