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Washington Heights Growth

Washington Heights Growth

I enjoyed reading the front-page article about my community, “Washington Heights Jews Caught In A Growth Bind” (Aug. 13). There has not been much press coverage of the amazing growth of the young, Modern Orthodox community here, and I feel it is unfortunate that the first article on the topic is about who is leaving, and not who is moving in.

I’ve been living here since 1999. When I first moved in, it was still a dying neighborhood, with many empty shuls struggling to keep their doors open. Due to a combination of lower rents (compared to other parts of Manhattan), outreach from the local shuls (mainly the Mount Sinai Jewish Center), and the construction of the eruv four years ago, Washington Heights has gone from an aging community, to a singles community, to a vibrant young community made up of singles, couples, and more and more children every year.

Yes, it is true that while most people who live here won’t make it their permanent home, it has now become one of the primary places to start out for young Jews who will spend five, 10 or more formative years here. With the start of the new school year around the corner, scores of college graduates will be moving in over the next few weeks. That first Kabbalat Shabbat at Mount Sinai after the summer, with the shul bursting with energy, is an amazing and inspiring sight, and certainly not one that existed here 10 years ago, or one that can be found almost anywhere else.

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