Distinct cultures cause clashes in Ramapo
The population of Hasidic Jewish communities in Rockland and Orange counties is exploding, but the demographic changes are also bringing some growing pains to the area.
Located within the Town of Ramapo, New Square is an Orthodox Jewish village where outsiders are shunned. News 12 first began trying to uncover the insular world of New Square's Hasidic Jews more than a year ago, but was met with fierce resistance.
Residents who don't belong to the Orthodox Jewish community in New Square say in order to accommodate the needs of the growing Hasidic population, more schools and housing have been built, often with little regard for local zoning laws and fire codes.
Yossi Gestetner, the owner of a public relations firm that provides services to Rockland County's Hasidic community, says many of the perceived cultural differences are blown out of proportion.
"Sometimes, debates get heated because this is the nature of debates, and sometimes people out there play on the flames, and this is wrong," he says.