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New social housing: orthodox Jews to get special treatment

New social housing: orthodox Jews to get special treatment

Because orthodox Jews tend to have much larger than average families, a new housing development in London’s Stamford Hill will feature homes that have up to five bedrooms, large kosher compliant kitchens – and lifts that operate automatically on the sabbath.

The plan has been criticised by the National Secular Society. Megan Manson, campaigns officer at the NSS, said:

It is worrying that Hackney Council has gone to such lengths to appease the highly specific and complex demands of a religious community. Why should religious affiliation give anyone greater entitlement to demand larger homes with more rooms and more kitchen storage?

For the sake of efficient public spending, and the sake of social cohesion, social housing should be built according to universal standards of safety, comfort and value for money. Religious considerations, which ultimately lead to increased segregation, should not be a factor.

The development of Tower Court in Stamford Hill was put out to competitive tender by Hackney Council with a brief to pay special attention to the wishes of the Haredi Jewish community.

According to Hackney Council’s consultation document, orthodox Jewish communities make up a large proportion of those on the local housing waiting list.

Thirty-five per cent of the new homes will be available for social rent, with half sold on the open market and 15 percent sold under special schemes such as shared ownership.

The block, expected to be completed in 2021, will feature a higher number of large homes, with four or five bedrooms, than would normally be the case on such an estate. This is out of special consideration for Haredi families, which typically include seven or eight children.

The council is working with architects to ensure that some of these large social rented homes meet additional requirements of the local orthodox Jewish community.

Most of the balconies at Tower Court will be open to the sky rather than stacked above each other as usual. This is for Jewish families to erect a Sukkah, a hut built for the feast of Sukkot that must sit beneath open sky in order to be “religiously compliant”.

Additionally, Tower Court will include lifts that do not require manual operation on the Jewish Sabbath, as orthodox Jews say they are forbidden from activating electrical equipment on this day. Such lifts have been criticised for wasting considerable amounts of energy and they usually involve constantly running the elevator up and down every floor of a building, repeatedly servicing floors where it is not needed.

The kitchens will feature a large volume of storage space to accommodate separate meat and dairy kitchen equipment and ceremonial dishes required by kosher rules. There will also be special walls designed for shelves of religious books.

The development will additionally house the London headquarters of Hatzola, a Jewish volunteer medical emergency service.

Adam Khan Architects, which is responsible for the design of the new development, held consultation sessions with the Haredi community to establish its needs and priorities. Khan said:

We showed models and drawings, and we had people grabbing the pencils out of our hands to show us what they wanted. They were very generous in sharing intimate details of family life to give us a better understanding.

Stamford Hill’s Rabbi Abraham Pinter, above, said:

The council is putting a lot of effort into recognising the community’s needs, which is quite difficult in an area of inner London where there are a lot of competing needs. This is a major development the council has initiated. It is appreciated, and hopefully it will lead to other developments.

As an aside, last year Pintner accused education watchdog Ofsted of “targeting Jewish schools”.

Stamford Hill is home to more than 30,000 Haredi Jews, one of the largest communities in Europe, which is growing at a rate of about 4 percent a year. The size of Haredi families, combined with the emphasis put on continued religious studies, has given rise to poverty in the community.

A 2006 study of the Stamford Hill community published by the Floersheimer Institute for Policy Studies in Jerusalem estimated that more than half the households below retirement age were receiving a means tested benefit of some sort, 62 percent of families in the study were receiving child benefits and 70 percent were receiving housing benefits.

Although some media sources have claimed that this is the first time a UK council has put together a residential development that specifically caters for the needs of a religious group, the Tower Court development echoes a similar project in 2005 to build council houses with Muslim sensibilities in mind. Sixteen flats in Bristol were built with toilets not facing the south east, specifically so the tenants of the flats do not face Mecca when they use them.

27 responses to “New social housing: orthodox Jews to get special treatment”

  1. Broga says:

    As the world goes to hell with pollution and global extinctions as a result of infestation by predatory, destructive, human pests, we get these demented efforts to encourage the breeding of more children.

  2. andym says:

    I’m not sure what’s worse-the pandering to a superstition, or the sense of entitlement of the superstitious.

  3. Angela_K says:

    This pandering to delusional fruitcakes is being paid for by the UK taxpayer along with the cash benefits to support religious fundamentalists breeding like rats. The religious should certainly not have the privilege of indulging in their superstition at others expense.
    I see the very Catholic Poland has asked its population to breed like rabbits.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/poland-low-birth-rate-health-ministry-youtube-advert-rabbits-sex-population-a8045076.html

  4. peterat says:

    Stupid question: what do these folks do for employment? Seems like their wacky lifestyle cloisters them to the point that they are virtually unemployable.

  5. L.Long says:

    There is only one way to deal with the religious nutjobs, and no politicians will ever do so! Because most if not all were voted into office by other religious nutjobs!

  6. AgentCormac says:

    I was on a train to Manchester recently which had been taken over by what can only be described as a West Bank invasion. Why do they need so many kids? (And so many bags?) The world is already massively overpopulated but they just keep on breeding like it’s going out of fashion. But that’s religion for you – blind to reality and unwilling to adapt to life in the 21st century.

  7. DOM says:

    They are deliberately putting themselves into poverty with large families and religious studies and then want the rest of us to support them!

  8. Broga says:

    DOM: Also massive demands on the NHS every time another baby is born. Their sense of entitlement for what others must pay is shocking.

  9. Zatre says:

    The hand of Priti Patel?

  10. Angela_K says:

    They are selfish parasites and environmental vandals, but never mind, gawd must be appeased!

  11. RussellW says:

    Angela_K,

    Yes. Surely they should be parasites on the Israeli taxpayers.Actually the Haredi are not always popular in Israel either, they reject the legitimacy of the state, but have no hesitation in accepting welfare payments.

  12. Zatre says:

    Perhaps the Israeli Foreign Aid Budget ought to pay for these parasitic shysters.

  13. Broga says:

    RussellW : Are they the same bunch of wasters who expect to be defended but refuse to serve in the military? Or embarrass girls whom they judge to be wearing too short skirts? Anyway, they will get plenty of support in the UK – cultural sensitivity and all that.

  14. RussellW says:

    Broga,

    Yes, they are. I first heard about the Haredi from my eldest nephew who lived in Israel in the 90s. Instead of being respected they are detested by the more secular Jews. People recognise parasites, however in a “Jewish State” they more or less do what they like.

    Why a council in the UK would indulge their outrageous behaviour is beyond my understanding. Seems like another example of multi-culti lunacy.

  15. Michael says:

    Yes the Haredim are hated by many in Israel . But because of the form of proportional representation in Israeli politics they hold far to much power. Sad to read Hackney Council are to appease them.

  16. Robster says:

    Is this perhaps a secret plan by these religiously compromised people to breed themselves to relevance? Should it be promoted?

  17. 1859 says:

    What they do to their children is nothing short of a tragedy. Some years ago a friend of mine (a secular Jew) – a specialist in teaching children with hearing problems – was hired by this very same Haredi community in Stamford Hill to teach ONE deaf 8 year old child. Before he was allowed any contact he was expressly told never to mention dinosaurs, fossils, sexual reproduction, relationships, Christmas, etc., etc. The sickening and pitiful tragedy was that the kid was intelligent and extremely curious about all aspects of life and the world but was being deliberately stunted and turned into an intellectual cripple by his religious masters. And they do this with ALL their children – every single aspect of their lives is controlled by religious bigots who themselves had every minutia of their lives controlled by religious bigots who themselves were……

  18. Zatre says:

    The foolishness of Political Correctness being used as a shield against Free Speech. Which public figure would go on the record with any of the points above?

    The Haredim is like a cancer … unchecked it will thrive and grow and thrive and grow until it kills the body that feeds it. If the population was 100% Haredim they would have nothing from which to parasitise.

  19. Zatre says:

    If they made some effort to contribute, to provide some useful service, to engage with others then who could reasonably complain as long as they put into the society that harbours them the equal to that which they take out.

    And from where do they get the wherewithal to live? Genuine question. Any ideas?

  20. Zatre says:

    How about housing for those of us who are repulsed by religious bigotry. Let’s say a suburb of London with no churches, no mosques no temples no halal or kosher food shops or any other concessions to sectarian “needs”.

    I suggest that’s not going to happen.

  21. Jobrag says:

    What I don’t understand is why they worship a god that they think is so stupid, is he really fooled by automatic lifts, and the red string thing oh and Islamic mortgages they follow the spirit of the law don’t they.

  22. Broga says:

    The tragedy and the farce is that they are so locked up in their demented beliefs that they “know” they are right and everyone else is wrong.

  23. H3r3tic says:

    @1859 – your example almost brought me to tears. This state support of religiously sanctioned ignorance and the dulling of the inherent intellect of a child due to the religiously retarded views of their parents is absolutely fucking reprehensible.

  24. Napasechnik says:

    They are deliberately putting themselves into poverty with large families and religious studies and then want the rest of us to support them!

  25. Napasechnik says:

    Guys themselves are driving themselves into a trap…

  26. 1859 says:

    @H3r3hic: I actually think that the deliberate and premeditated stupefying of a child’s natural, I innate curiosity is a crime – not just against their humanity – but against all humanity.

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