On Hasidic Growth

 Posted by on August 6, 2012
Aug 062012
 
A growth chart for Chasidim done with Shtreimels

The average Chasidic family, according to Wikipedia, has 8 children. That’s a growth rate nearly four times higher than the average American family!

Based on these growth trends I expect that Chasidim will grow to startling proportions in the next fifty years. I’m not sure if family sizes are getting smaller, because when I was a child many of us were from families of 12, and that number seems to have gone down somewhat, but even if there’s some family planning, families are still VERY large. Chasidic women age 30 often already have 6 children or more — that’s before their biological clock even ticks at ripe. If these trends continue, we can figure that the average family of 8 will have multiplied by eight in a mere thirty years.

The economic implications of a continued growth explosion like that are only to be seen. With a need for housing within close proximity of parents and shuls, and the subsequent rising real estate value, homes in Chasidic neighborhoods are bound to become more and more expensive. That’s only the beginning of Chasidic economic burden; there are many mouths to feed and twice the feet to clothe, many diapers and then weddings to fund. With little economic preparation in terms of college and vocational training, how will this growth spurt be sustainable?

And if the breadwinners won’t have enough on their heads, they’ll have handsome shtreimels that’ll brush against the moon, that’s how speedily the shtreimel is multiplying in height. I still remember the times a shtreimel closely resembled a frisbee. Long, long, LONG ago.

Frieda Vizel

  15 Responses to “On Hasidic Growth”

  1. And so did the growth of Prozac increase accordingly within the Chasidic motherhood.

    Why the need of a condom if there’s Prozac?

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  2. There is definitely a trend of smaller families. Chasidic families seem to be getting smaller. Also, education is becoming more accepted in the community, there are so many frum degree mill programs. All this is probably a reaction to the economic realities.

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  3. I agree with Devorah (] am proof), but the problem is still far from resolved. The main issue is that the – so called – leadership is busy with meetings on the burning issues such as proper length of skirts and denier of stockings and no one cares about this issue at all. What is their plan?

    shpitz, you wrote ” I still remember the times a shtreimel closely resembled a frisbee. Long, long, LONG ago.” Are you th that old???? Lol.

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  4. R’ Elyashiv a”h had about 1400 descendants at his passing, which sounds like a lot but isn’t – he was a centenarian (granted, most of us will not be) and 5 generations of 6 children to a family = 1296. 6 is less than the average family size of 8, so with multiples of 8 you get over 4000 after 5 generations.

    Even if the chasidic growth rate shrinks dramatically to 5 kids per family, there will still be startling growth of a more-than-doubling of the chasidic populace every 15-20 years.

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  5. Free Thinker, of course the problem is far from resolved. But the way I see it is that more and more people are taking matters into their own hands and are tired or despairing of waiting for the leaders to take action on important issues.

    Frieda, this is a very clever cartoon.

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  7. Moshys, spoken like a true zombie. Just repeating all the crap you’ve been force-fed since yo were born. No, Chassidish people don’t all have successful businesses and the way of the world is that an education is the ticket to get you places. Of course there are exceptions to the rule, but most people are average.

    And if we have “faith” and Gd sends money with every child, why are so many of them starving? Why are so many of them poorly clothed, or too hot, or too cold, or too sickly? Again, there are very few miracles in this world. We have to do what we have to do. Maybe you should take your head out of the sand, grow up a bit and start thinking for yourself.

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  8. @Miriam

    I said percentage wise they’re succesful, not that everyone is. in any community only a small percent is succesful the rest make wages, some make more than others. but a big chunk of americans struggle to pay bills same by chasidish ppl.

    About faith, Thats my point. if you have no faith life is much harder becasue when someone has faith even if he has a chalenge in life we dont give up, we still believ its for a good reason but we cant see it all the time, when you dont have faith youve got nothing to easy your pain with.

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  9. Moshys “i know someone you grew up with who runs a very succesful buisines”

    Wow, you know someone! All the problems don’t exist then, because one guy beat the odds.

    See, the problem is, there doesn’t need to be someone, there needs to be *thousands* of such people for this to work economically. There are always a few inner city kids who will become massive rap stars, there are a few farm girls in depressed middle American meth towns who will become super models instead of Walmart cashiers, and there are always a few uneducated Yiddish speaking Chassidim who become successful businessmen. But this is not an economic plan.

    There is a reason why education correlates with economic success, and lack of education with economic failure. No, education is not everything. But it is important.

    You know as well as I do that today, this very minute, the Chassidish communities are relying on government assistance to get by, much more so than the handful of successful businessmen who have a limited number of jobs to give out. What will the Chassidishe community do if, for example, the government decides that recipients of public assistance can be required to limit the number of children they have? I’m not saying it will happen, but it can happen. What’s the plan then? Suddenly every new couple will just have two kids instead of eight? There is no planning for anything other than what is happening now. Things are getting tighter. Staying uneducated is poor planning.

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  10. “he average Chasidic family, according to Wikipedia, has 8 children.”
    is it for this reason they call it “section 8″?
    if so, the they need more Obama’s, and they are covered for life….

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  11. Wow, you know someone! All the problems don’t exist then, because one guy beat the odds.

    wo you really got me…….what i meant is that she doesn’t have to go to far to know that ppl can be succesful without education (she knows who I am refering to)

    i work in the financial industry so i actually see a lot that there are chasidish ppl who make nice amounts of $. and again.
    Are you trying to tell me that with education ppl dont struggle?? thats bogus, ppl have success and struggle all over our country. nothing to do with education. Education does not make you succesful in business. what makes you sucesfull is hard work and having knoledge in your line of work

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  12. Wow Moshys. Do you know anything about statistics? The average salary of someone that’s educated is more than the average salary of someone who is not educated. This doesn’t mean that there are no successful uneducated people or unsuccessful educated people. It means that you have a much better chance at earning a decent living with less risk that’s inherent in entrepreneurship if you have an education. I don’t know which chasidish community you’re living in, but in my surroundings, most of my friends and family are really struggling to make ends meet. They all rely on the government for aid and most of them really need the help. Their children would not have what to eat without the help. A lot of it would have been alleviated with a better education. Yes, hard work and ethics matter, but so does an education.

    I never understood what the chassidish community has against preparing our boys to know the basics, like the girls. Aren’t the men the ones who in the end go out to work? I personally know of a few cases where bright and hard working young men had a hard time finding work because of their lack of basic education. I’m not event talking about higher education here. There really is no excuse to cripple our children like this

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  13. “wo you really got me…….what i meant is that she doesn’t have to go to far to know that ppl can be succesful without education (she knows who I am refering to)”

    That means nothing. Let’s say her father was Jay Z. Does that mean anything other than one lucky guy did good?

    Education does not mean no struggling. Education means that you have skills and an edge over the next guy who doesn’t have even a high school diploma to show, and who can’t communicate and make a decent impression in English. You are not guaranteed no struggles with education, but you are pretty much guaranteed struggles without it.

    Also, as I said, by not being economically independent, the Chassidishe community is relying on the status quo continuing indefinitely. But will it? How do you know? What will be done if, as I said, they are one day told that the days of having 8 kids and the government seeing that they are fed, get medical care, and have roofs over their head is over? Or what if the IRS starts getting really snoopy? Not everyone who is relying on government assistance really qualifies. What will be the first to go? Is it Medicaid? Or food? No one is prepared for such a thing. Don’t waste your kid’s time. They can learn English and math and other basic skills when they are young.

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  14. Moshey, moving beyond the fact that unqualified government subsidy is part and parcel of the economic infrastructure in the community, and that most young high-rollers thrive on businesses that are a federal raid away of going out of business, what is the average community person’s worth per hour? How would the average man or woman score in an interview in Corporate America competing with an educated prospect? What does it tell you, in terms of economic opportunity, that the best job on average is being employed by that You Know Who I’m Talking About or B&H or the local School?

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  15. I see you are running out of ideas. Like all anti chassidim bloggers, for a while you repackage all the old jokes into your way of saying it and then you run out of ideas.

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