Thank you for the well-written article about what’s going on in a Staten Island neighborhood (“Bridging the Gap,” June 19, 2019). I don’t live in Staten Island myself, and I do understand people’s desire to live near parts of New York where they may still have family, or schools where they want to send their children, or may themselves have jobs — but where the cost of housing is unaffordable for many.
But after reading this article, I do not know why Jews feel that Westerleigh is an answer to the problem. Why should Jews go and live there — just because legally we can? My mother, a”h, remembered growing up at a time when neighborhoods that wanted to exclude Jews made a point of adding “near all churches” in their real-estate ads.
Jewish communities have a different infrastructure and pace. One of the current residents didn’t mind Jews living there if they would adopt Westerleigh’s ways. Well, that’s not going to happen. And schools will be open on Memorial Day, and a lot of other things will happen that will stoke misunderstanding.
A better solution — maybe I’m dreaming — is if there could be a community effort to scale back the price of housing in Brooklyn.
Chaya Malka Freedman, Brooklyn, N.Y.