September 5, 2018

Brooklyn Still Hub of Kosher Market, But with Slight Decline

Brooklyn, NY…While Brooklyn remains the largest stronghold of Jews who observe kosher, there is somewhat of a shift of younger consumers to other communities in New York such as the Five Towns and such New Jersey communities as Lakewood, Passaic and Teaneck. One sign of the decline is a study by the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council (OJPAC)which shows that while there were 151,828 students enrolled in New York Jewish schools for the 2017-2018 school year grades (Full Day Kindergarten through 12th grade), there was somewhat of an unusual decline in Brooklyn. The borough with 81,350 students is down by 1,184 from 82,534 students last year and is down from 82,481 students two years ago. Brooklyn enrollment is up less than 4.2% from 78,102 students five years ago and up 25.7% from 64,721 students ten years ago. Brooklyn. The cause of the weak growth in Brooklyn is that young families are leaving to other counties in New York State or to New Jersey. Of an estimated 1.6 million Jews who live in New York City, nearly 600,000 live in Brooklyn. It is believed that more than half of Brooklyn’s Jews consume kosher. A community like Borough Park with a birth rate of 27.9 per 1,000 is the largest kosher consuming community in the city.

Yet, kosher food experts see a shift amongst younger kosher consumers with many moving to communities like Lakewood, which explains the success of many independent kosher supermarkets that have opened in recent years. Of late, many baby boomers are also moving to Lakewood to join their children and it has even emerged as a retirement center for many.