Neighborhood Preservation

The Chanukah issue of Prime (Dec. 25, 2019) is to be commended for focusing on the essence of Chanukah —combating Hellenism. Viewed through that lens, so many of the articles fit that overall theme.

One poignant example is “An Open Letter to Flatbush Yidden” from Rabbi Leib Kelman about the exodus of Jews who are priced out of Brooklyn. The fact that Rabbi Kelman’s title is given as the dean of Bnos Leah Prospect Park of Brooklyn and Monsey speaks volumes. For as long as I can remember, Prospect Park has been a mainstay in my section of Brooklyn. My daughter went there for high school, and at PTA I’d see more than a few mothers who had gone there and were now sending their daughters.

Over the past two years, “my section of Brooklyn” has undergone radical levels of new apartment construction, built for people who don’t want to pay Manhattan prices and who want to live near transportation. The result will be a new, very noticeable secular element to the community.

Who is this helping? Why haven’t builders and investors taken the long view?

I am grateful that Rabbi Kelman highlights the mosdos that have found solutions. It’s a complex topic, and I hope that Hamodia will run more pieces on it in weeks to come.

Hinda Bernstein, Midwood, Brooklyn