Jews & Real Estate

Moshe Glasser writes:

When houses went on the market in my neighborhoods (first Beverlywood, in Los Angeles, sometimes called the Pico-Robertson Area, though that’s a much more expansive designation; later Teaneck, NJ and the accompanying Northern New Jersey towns like Englewood, Fair Lawn, and Bergenfield), sometimes Jews would move in and sometimes not. Especially in Teaneck, as the prices went up and up, the Jewish homes began to outnumber the non-Jewish ones, at least in the areas where synagogues caused Jews to view housing as optimal. There didn’t seem to be any conspiracy; we needed to live within walking distance of a shul. And while that distance could be extended beyond a block or two, your universe of housing options could often be drawn with a simple circle extending between half a mile and a mile around the shul building itself. But matters of convenience were also social, cultural, and economic. A wealthy shul would create wealthy homes around it, and make it harder for those outside the economic class of the shul members to move there.

And then we have the bizarre example posted at the top of this article. Apparently, a realtor or mortgage broker (there seems to be some debate) seems to want the neighbors of the area to band together, influencing the type of people who move in to an auctioned house.

Putting aside the ridiculousness of some of the issues involved here (such as the extreme cost of the house and banks’ willingness to sell an auctioned house to just about anyone to get it off their own hands, regardless of the community’s feelings), is this kind of thing moral?

About Luke Ford

Raised a Seventh-Day Adventist at Avondale College in Australia, Luke Ford moved to California in 1977. He graduated from Placer High School in 1984, reported the news at KAHI/KHYL radio for three years, attended Sierra College and UCLA, was largely bedridden by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for six years, and converted to Judaism in 1993. From 1997-2007, Luke made his living from blogging. Living by Beverly Hills (, he now teaches the Alexander Technique (moving the way the body likes to move). Lessons cost $100 each and last about 45 minutes. In 2011, Luke completed a three-year teaching course at the Alexander Training Institute of Los Angeles. His personal Alexander Technique website is Luke is the author of five books, including: » The Producers: Profiles in Frustration » Yesterday’s News Tomorrow: Inside American Jewish Journalism
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