It took weeks for my wife and children to stop talking about the first time Goldy published this article. Here we go again. People should do what’s best for them and not drag everyone into their life decisions. It’s like the people who post every conversation they have with a Starbucks barista who gets their name wrong. Who cares?
I’ve been living in Kew Gardens Hills for 30 years and, yes, things have changed, especially real estate prices. I have friends who have bought houses for their children so they can be close to them and their einiklach. If they can afford it, then why not have their families close by? I wish we can all do that. But I will say that my wife and I have been talking about moving down to Florida, now that all of our kids are married. Why do we need a big house? We will take advantage of these prices and price our house for far more than what we bought it for when our kids were small. Why not cash in while we can and while we are still young enough to enjoy life.
I loved Goldy’s article in this week’s edition. Finally, someone is speaking about the elephant in the room. The last time she wrote about this topic, I ran into her in a store and told her how much I agreed and loved reading it. She thanked me and we spoke for a few minutes. It’s only because she told me of all the confrontations she was having with fellow KGH residents, that I am writing to you now.
I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, but I’m one of those whose in-laws helped us a lot in order to buy a house, and that was before the prices really skyrocketed. Can I blame my shver for wanting to keep us close by, to spend Shabbos and Yom Tov with us while all can be comfortable in their own house without the packing and being stuck in traffic before Shabbos? No. But I have had to say goodbye to friends and my kids to theirs when their families find a more affordable house somewhere else.
What I think Goldy should have included in the article when she wrote about how much she loves the community, but stating how much it has changed since she was a girl, is that we have different types of Jews moving in more now than they had in the past. I’ve noticed Sephardic and Bukharian families moving in, two on my block in the last few months, whereas a few years ago, they weren’t moving into the center of town. It seemed as if they were living amongst their own. But now, they are here, and kids are intermingling with one another: Ashkenazi, Sefardi, Bukharian. Decades ago, when I was in elementary school (Bais Yaakov), every group basically kept to itself. The Sefardi/Bukharians hung around each other, and the same with the Ashkenazi kids. But now everyone is mixing and it’s nice to see. Why do we have to separate ourselves just because others are a little different? We shouldn’t!
Thank you, Goldy, for deciding to write about this topic again, and thanks to Debbie for getting the ball rolling. But Debbie is leaving. Goldy will be the one facing people who disagree with her on Main Street while shopping or in shul. And knowing her, she won’t shy away from having a discussion with people, but please remember that she doesn’t hate KGH. She loves it but can’t afford it (Let’s all chip in...Lol). And please don’t yell or argue with her when she’s with her kids. She told me that she was confronted in DD with her kids, and her daughter didn’t understand why the man was angry with her mommy. It’s a weekly column in a newspaper. Chill out. It’s an opinion piece. Don’t go overboard.
I am not going to sign this with my real name, because if published (which would be great), I wouldn’t want some of those zealots screaming at me because they misunderstood or only read what they wanted to read in my letter.
A fan of Goldy and KGH
What am important week for liberty and freedom! The Supreme Court rulings in favor of religious freedom, gun rights, and free speech were really fabulous.
Of course, you also had the Dobbs ruling overturning Roe. Democrats can cry all they want about January 6. Justice Thomas’ opinion on the NYSRPA case and his concurrence on the Dobbs case are so eloquently written that one gets a complete law and history lesson while reading them. Contrast that with the dissenting opinions and you see that the three liberal justices are merely activists dressed in black robes. There is no law, history, or substance in anything they wrote.
I’m writing in regard to the Goldy Krantz article. I read the letter and Goldy’s response. I’m not going to argue about what’s right and wrong about our neighborhood. It’s all subjective. But what was not addressed was how this community is changing.
I don’t have to look far to see it. There are more Asians moving in and a larger Bukharian/Sephardic presence than there had been a decade ago. No one wants to talk about it, but I will. It’s a fact: Bukharians are moving in by the droves. Live and let live, I don’t care. A Jew is a Jew is a Jew, but I know that people are moving out because of that reason. I’ve heard it with my own ears. They want a more Ashkenazi feel, they want their kids to be in a class with more Ashkenazi kids than not, because at the moment they feel like Ashkenazim are becoming the minority. Again, I personally don’t care. But I’ve heard this actually said and given as a reason why some younger families are moving away.
My husband and I aren’t going anyplace yet, but we are thinking of downsizing once our youngest is married. Whether we stay or move closer to one of our kids or buy in a retirement village is undecided. The only thing decided is that if we can make a 300% or more profit on our house, we will certainly take advantage of that. I’d be crazy not to cash in when I can. Who knows what the neighborhood will look like in another ten years?
I’m signing this Anonymous because I know people will misinterpret what I wrote about the Bukharian people, and they will think that I feel that way or they will be angry with me. I don’t need any anger directed at me, because I am not the one saying it, but I know what happens to the messenger.
This past week, as I was entering one of the local shuls, I was accosted by a security guard inquiring about my COVID vaccination status. I’m still not sure what the relevance of the question was. If it was for my personal safety, my decision to pass on taking an experimental drug, with no long-term studies for protection against a sickness I’ve already had, is a personal decision for me that has nothing to do with shul. If it was for the safety of the other congregants davening there – if they’re all “vaccinated,” presumably they should be safe from any potential dangers my presence posed to them, no? Isn’t that the purpose of a vaccine?!
Upon departing, I noticed a sign that read: “All unvaccinated people must wear masks.” This, too, seems rather silly to me, as I am unaware of any studies out there showing better COVID results in mask-mandated areas. Initially, I assumed that was because most people are not medical professionals with training in how to properly wear a mask. However, after re-using the same mask for 18 months that is usually kept in my car’s glove compartment, wedged between my car manual and tire pressure gauge, I now think that perhaps contamination is the problem.
Upon further reflection, though, the shul sign makes perfect sense to me now: Either submit to a “vaccine” that provides no protection against infection or transmission, or else you need to provide for an equivalent protection in the form of the glove compartment mask!
Yes! Someone who said it outright. Unless you are a partner in a law firm or own a Fortune 500 business or something like that, it is very hard to buy a house here! I wish every family well, but you can’t deny what you see and hear.
My brother-in law’s parents gave my sister and their son a house when they were just married. A house for two people! No starter apartment. I have a friend who was lucky enough to have a similar situation, but I don’t know the specifics of it all. Just the fact that parents are buying children houses in their community tells me that the community will get older; and while there are young families here, it isn’t a big influx of younger or middle-aged families. I don’t want to see aging faces without seeing the younger ones. Hopefully, some families can afford to buy here and not just in Charm Circle.
Goldy said that Debbie was the one who mentioned the aging of KGH and not her, but take a look at the introduction – she made a quick comment about it, too. Don’t blame it all on Debbie, LOL!
S. F. Bernstein
I do not agree with Goldy Krantz in the article she just submitted about younger families moving out of the neighborhood because of the price of real estate. And the woman who wrote that the only way families can stay is if parents pay for a house or most of a house, so their kids stay close.
So what? Big deal. Here is a life lesson that I am surprised these two young, smart women have not learned: Life isn’t fair. You don’t always get what you want. But don’t be a sore loser about it and complain.
I have worked very hard for the last 30-plus years and am able to afford the cost of a house or two for my children in order that they can stay close to their parents. What’s wrong with that? Because their parents can’t afford to do the same or their jobs don’t pay them enough to save up for a house here, they complain? Does that mean I and others should lose out on having our children and grandchildren close? My wife and I love that we can celebrate yamim tovim and birthdays or just regular Shabbasos by walking a few short blocks so we can all be together.
No one neighborhood can accommodate everyone who wants to live here, and in a way that’s a good thing. Would I want to live in a neighborhood where the houses cost $300,000? Part of the appeal of where we live is the beauty of the neighborhood and who lives here. And yes, my generation still lives here as do my kids, so we aren’t turning into a retirement village yet!
I just had to write this, because what I read sounded like two spoiled little girls complaining and whining to anyone who would listen. Grow up.
My complaint today concerns WAZE. I simply don’t understand when she (correct pronoun usage?) says, “Make a right or left in 1,000 feet.” How am I supposed to know how far 1,000 feet is? I’m no Betzalel who built the Mishkan and knew how much an amah was. As a result of my ignorance, I end up slowing down, searching for the street that is 1,000 feet away, and I draw the ire of the driver behind me.
These measurements came to mind last week when I saw on TV that on January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence was in mortal danger. As a matter of fact, he was just 40 feet away from the band of rioters. I was about to ask my husband how far or close 40 feet was when I realized I knew the answer. Since my house and my neighbor’s house are 18-footers, that is 36 feet, and you add another four feet of the third house’s lawn, and you have 40 feet, which is pretty close.
Before I moved to KGH, I never considered how many feet a house was. When we first moved to our house, a neighbor asked if it was a 16-, 18-, 20-, or 22-footer. I thought she was speaking Swahili. I grew up in a Cape, and that’s all I knew about house structure until I became obsessed with HGTV. If the house I grew up in was in KGH, it would go for well over $1 million.
The bottom line is: Try to figure out 300, 900, and 1,000 feet when driving, and don’t worry about how many feet your home is until you are ready to sell it.
As soon as I read that Goldy thanked Debbie [the one who sent her the letter] for all the hate mail she will receive, I knew that Goldy was ready for those who will attack her for seemingly endorsing Debbie and all the others who have moved because of real estate prices here. She’ll take on each “hate mail” head on. People move out of neighborhoods for many reasons, but here she was specifying one reason: house prices.
My son is losing some friends from his class because their families are moving out. I don’t know their specific reasons, but they are moving. When my husband and I bought our house, everything was more affordable. But the times change and the cost of everything goes up. Maybe we will be charged for breathing one day. Who knows?
I’m writing to let Goldy know that I support her because she didn’t bash the neighborhood or its residents. It’s just sad that in any community where Jews settle, the price of housing goes up. Houses in Monsey, Toms River, Edison, and even Boca [Raton] are going up. It’s hard for younger families to buy a house anywhere unless they are careful and count their pennies. I have children living in the neighborhood and some not. I hear both sides of each argument because I see the difference in the neighborhoods my children live in.
Applause for bringing up a topic that will have heated debates. But wherever Jews settle, the neighborhood ends up winning.
I always read Goldy’s articles, and while I don’t share her opinion on everything, I do on this week’s column! You go on, Goldy! Do what you are so good at doing: Talk about topics that not everyone brings up!
We just bought a house in [New] Jersey and we’ll be moving before the start of the school year. I have three yeshivah-age children. My husband and I are both professionals. We have savings and earn more than decent salaries. We could have bought a house in Kew Gardens Hills or Hillcrest, but why if we get more bang for the buck in other communities? (So it definitely is you, KGH, and not me.)
Baruch Hashem, (younger) Jewish neighborhoods are sprouting up all over the country. I’m thrilled to see it. I have two friends in Texas, a couple of cousins just moved to Boca [Raton]. Now is the time to buy a “forever house,” like I see on HGTV. Who knows where the next frum neighborhood will be? All it takes is a few families willing to go and do it.
Thank you for making my point for me, and keep carrying the torch. I’m going to read your column online after we move.
Devorah L. Katz
The article that Goldy Krantz had written for this past week’s edition of the Queens Jewish Link had tongues wagging. I invited some friends (couples) over for Shalosh Seudos and her article was part of the conversation. It was the liveliest and most heated part of the conversation.
Live here or don’t live here – I don’t care. Everyone should do what is best for them and their families. Why they are announcing their reasons doesn’t concern me. KGH will continue without those moving way, because people are moving in, taking their place. But it’s sad that many of the younger families are moving out, but maybe it’s for other reasons besides real estate prices. Maybe they found a new job or want to live closer to family.
My friend suggested starting a GoFundMe page to keep Goldy here. We love her humor and quick wit and how she nails whatever topic she decides to write about every time. We don’t want her to leave – but as long as she keeps sending in her articles, I’m okay with wherever she lives. The discussion got a little heated between all of us, but we realized that we forgot the most important part of the article. Goldy (and others) love living here and are sad that they won’t call KGH home ad mei’ah v’esrim shanah.
Keep up the good work.
I find it extremely ironic that on Shabbos Parshas Sh’lach, which demonizes the sin of Lashon HaRa, the Queens Jewish Link ill-advisedly gives front page exposure under a column titled “Dating Today” (which it certainly was not), a bashing of our great neighborhood, Kew Gardens Hills. This type of negative press, whether factually valid or not, has no place in this paper. It is wrong halachically and ethically, and it makes poor sense financially. It is an affront to many of your loyal readers who affectionately call this place home and hope to for many more years to come. Do you expect public pronouncements of negative aspects of this area to boost your circulation? You really need to be much more circumspect of what you publish.
If you are reprinting anything, you should reprint Rebbetzin Marcus’ wonderful poem about KGH.
Editor’s Note: In response to Shlomo’s request, Rebbetzin Marcus’ poem, which has been printed a number of times since its original publication a few years ago, is printed again here:
By Yael Marcus
I’ve heard it many times before,
In other towns you get much more.
More bang per buck is what they say,
So much for less, why should I pay?
So, to justify my seemingly unwise decision,
I compiled a list with a great deal of precision,
Of just what I purchased, when I put money down,
And decided to settle in our “pricey” town.
Our house is not big, yet it fits all we need,
From my small kitchen, lots of mouths I do feed.
Garage and porch, four bedrooms real nice,
Fireplace, attic – all in the price.
Though we don’t have a private backyard,
A small front lawn makes gardening not hard.
Our communal drive – an attraction to all,
It draws kids together to bike and play ball.
Wherever you live, Main Street’s not far,
All you need without getting your car.
Big kids go alone, chauffeuring is done,
Pizza and ice cream, such convenient fun.
We boast many schools that really excel,
So many good choices, all do so well.
In addition to that, our kids always say
We don’t have traffic at the end of our day.
We bought in a place that is a makom of Torah,
A shul at each corner, one for every mesorah.
Chesed programs help us assist one another,
Meeting the needs of Jewish sisters or brothers.
A community with friends for my family and me,
Who help us be the people we have wanted to be.
There never is much pressure to fit in one mold
Or to change who we are to be part of the fold.
We live in a place where you constantly meet
All types of Jews as you walk down the street.
A heartfelt “Good Shabbos” is how we often greet,
Kids learn to love others, a monumental feat.
But the best thing about Kew Gardens Hills
Is how simple life is, minus the frills.
On the outside our homes all look the same,
We don’t play the silly “outdo him” game.
Parked on the block, my old Camry looks fine,
My neighbor’s car is as vintage as mine.
I am thrilled when I need to go shopping for food,
I don’t need to dress up, I go out in my snood!
Clothing from Target is mostly accepted
Kids don’t need brand names to feel they’re respected.
Fancy vacations are not yet the rule
Jib Lanes is busy on days off from school.
So, although my house may be a bit small
Despite my lost space I’ve not lost at all.
Little by little, I’ve learned to make do,
And now what I value is living near you.
So, I hope you take in consideration,
As you continue home deliberation;
You’ll realize our prices cannot be beat,
Just measure your home in more than square feet.
I’m grateful our shul has led us to Queens,
We’ve learned so much what community means.
It has worked out so well for my family and me,
If you’re not in Israel, Queens is where you should be!
Moshe Hill (June 16) wrote: “The entire reason for the Second Amendment is to prevent an authoritarian government from taking over.”
The Second Amendment states, “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The purpose of the right to keep and bear arms is to ensure participation in a well-regulated militia – under government control, rather than opposing it.
Kew Gardens Hills, New York
I can respond to Yaakov Ribner’s Letter to the Editor regarding his critique of Rav Schonfeld’s Letter to the Editor from the prior week by keeping it real simple.
First, Mr. Ribner couldn’t just ask, “Was President Trump good for the Jews… far more than any other US President ever was?” Because the common-sense answer to that question would’ve saved Mr. Ribner all of the time and energy towards having followed the views of the r’sha’im in the American media.
Secondly, instead of Mr. Ribner relying on the views of card-carrying members of the Establishment like “Ted Cruz’s mentor” or Bill Barr, another foolproof method of being able to know that Rav Schonfeld’s clear wisdom about President Trump is spot on, is by instead following the views of ehrlicher Yidden like former US Ambassador Dovid Melech Friedman or Middle East advisor Jason Dov Greenblatt, to name just a few.
Choni Herschel Kantor
Kew Gardens, New York
I think Sharon Marcus owes an apology to those of us who love our country. Equating evil Babylon as she does with the United States of America is repugnant. We, who love our country, revere the Signers who, after invoking the protection of Divine Providence, mutually pledged to each other their Lives, their Fortunes, and their Sacred Honor.
We revere the memory of General Washington leading the hungry Continental Army, feet bare and red with blood through snow to final victory. We marvel at the courage of a 21-year-old Nathan Hale, whose sole regret moments before being hanged by the British was that he had but one life to lose for his country. We stand in awe at the genius of the Founders, who in the summer of 1787, fleshed out, together with its first Ten Amendments, the most profound document of self-government, freedom, and orderly transfer of power ever written.
And from our nation’s very inception, we Jews have enjoyed the same rights as all other citizens, so confirmed by President Washington’s famous letter to the Hebrew Congregation at Newport. How sad that Ms. Marcus makes a mockery of the beautiful poem “America.” What could be wrong with “...America, America, G-d shed His grace on thee, and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea?”
My cousins, after watching their mother die of hunger in a concentration camp in Transnistria, and then spending some years in a DP camp, were finally fortunate enough to gain admission to this wonderful country. As their ship passed Lady “Liberty Enlightening The World,” they cried profusely. No, Ms. Marcus. They were not hypnotized by dreams of gold in the streets, nor did they know anything of “Anglicizing.” They were simply happy to be alive and grateful to be allowed to enter America.
As Jews who are fortunate enough to be Americans, we have much to be grateful for. Instead of lashon ha’ra, let’s try some hakaras ha’tov.