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Old 01-24-2012, 06:04 PM
 
5 posts, read 25,327 times
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Hi,

My wife & I have two children (4 & 2) and live in Yorktown Heights. Our house is a nice starter house but we have outgrown it. We want to have another child.

We are both very reformed (we donít belong to a temple & only go for high holidays) & almost verge on being non-Jewish in our current lack of practicing (this is an attempt at humor).

I had a bad experience in lower Westchester during high school. I often got into fights because I was one of only a few Jews in school. I had many racial taunts from people, friends, and sometimes in front of their parents. I was specifically It was so bad that I was on my way to hackley or rye country day & my family moved to Scarsdale (vs. paying for private school).

So fast forward 20 years & my oldest is starting kindergarten this fall. I have heard there are loads of Jews in Yorktown but I have not seen them. When I first moved into my neighborhood I was invited to other neighborhood parties & events. When I had my own party (I have mezuzahs on my doors) & invited my neighbors, I was never invited to anything again. It was really so strange & shocking. My next door neighbor had a party about 3 months later & didnít bother to invite me (but did manage all the other people).

The point is while I am not very religious, I am very sensitive to anti-Semitism. Probably I am oversensitive but with most of my neighbors white, the only difference with all of them is my lack of Xmas lights on my lawn.

So, I have heard from someone I know in Katonah, that the schools are Jewish, but I suspect itís not as Jewish as Armonk. I just donít want my sons in a class of 30 people with only 2 Jews. My wife seems to think that Katonah is not Jewish. How are you supposed to know? Is there some way I can find out a percentage? Any advice would be great.


Thanks,
Rich
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Old 01-24-2012, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Chappaqua, NY
41 posts, read 109,295 times
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Default Katonah

Hey, Rich

I am not Jewish and can only give you circumstantial evidence to point that you would have an ok time in Katonah.

I have a friend from there who is in a mixed marriage, ie, she is not Jewish, but her husband is. They have been abroad for a bit, but are happily moving back to Katonah soon. She is raising her kids Jewish and seems to love it in Katonah.

Is there a temple in Katonah? Could you ask the rabbi to speak openly about his experience?

I am not sure what your work situation is, but we sure love Chappaqua! I think that we have a very large percentage of Jewish residents; all seem to be reformed, or, at the most semi-conservative, and our temple is supposed to be great...

Best of luck to you!
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:43 PM
 
Location: Yorktown Heights NY
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That is the strangest thing I've heard on this forum. I live in Yorktown Heights and most of my neighbors are Jewish. We're certainly a minority in town overall, but a fairly sizeable one and I've never experienced any anti-semitism or the slightest bit of strangeness about being jewish. We belong to Temple Beth Am in Yorktown Heights, which is reform and has a large and active congregation and is one of the two largest synagogues in YH. My son's classes have always been about 20% Jewish, which to me is perfect since it is enough to give him plenty of Jewish classmates but also prepares him for life in America. And of course many of the teachers are Jewish as is the principal. Many of his classmates go to Hebrew school with him on weekends. One of the things I love about Yorktown Heights is the ethnic diversity and the fact that there is such a mix of backgrounds. His school is full of kids from all over, and there are lots like my son from mixed backgrounds (Clancy Bernstein, Issac Murphy, etc.). I suggest checking out Temple Beth Am--it is very welcoming and very mellow.

As for Katonah, we have Jewish friends who live there and are happy. I would imagine the makeup is similar to YH in terms of Jews, but I'm guessing.
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Old 01-25-2012, 01:44 PM
 
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I guess it all comes down to who lives near you & who you see on a daily basis.

I know Katonah doesnt have a temple so that was part of why I was asking. I think that South Salem & Mt Kisco are the two big temples in the area (reformed).

Thanks,
Rich
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:59 PM
 
Location: East Millcreek
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First, when speaking of Katonah you really need to be thinking in terms of Bedford cause everything is spread out. And, in Bedford you'll find Temple Shaaray Tefila and Kasho - pretty much opposite ends of the spectrum, I guess.

Secondly, Katonah is reportedly becoming increasingly Jewish. I've heard locals call it "the new Chappaqua" and "Scarsdale North." Seriously. But no worries. There are lots of Jewish folks up there, it doesn't raise an eyebrow. But if your antisemitism-o-meter is turned all the way up you'll surely find it. Same as anti-Italian, anti-Hispanic, anti-whatever.
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:20 PM
 
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Hi,

I am not sure if this makes a difference, but I am looking to purchase a home in the Lewisboro/Goldens bridge portion of Katonah. I thought Katonah was Katonah but I have since been corrected.

I dont want to find any anti-semetism. I just dont want my kids to be the only jewish ones in the class.

Thanks,
Rich
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Westchester County, New York
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We live in the northern part of Yorktown, which has a smaller Jewish population than Yorktown Heights. There are very few jewish children in our school, so we had to seek them out. We have belonged to a small, very friendly synagogue for many years -- Hebrew Congregation of Somers. Despite the name, there are families from all over Northern Westchester, including Yorktown and Katonah. My children were able to connect with other children at hebrew school, and we have many friends to celebrate holidays with. Even if you have had uncomfortable experiences with synagogues in the past, it really is the best way to give your children a connection to their heritage, renew your own connection, and give yourself an opportunity to meet other jewish families. Just something to think about.
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:53 PM
 
9,341 posts, read 25,475,396 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichTJ99 View Post
Hi,

I am not sure if this makes a difference, but I am looking to purchase a home in the Lewisboro/Goldens bridge portion of Katonah. I thought Katonah was Katonah but I have since been corrected.
Lewisboro is a town in Westchester County.

Goldens Bridge is a hamlet in the Town of Lewisboro in Westchester County.

Katonah is a hamlet in the Town of Bedford in Westchester County.

The hamlet of Katonah is in the service area of the Katonah-Lewisboro School District.

NYS Geographic Glossary may be of some help to you in understanding the geography of New York.
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Old 01-26-2012, 12:51 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,830 posts, read 26,407,110 times
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You should not have a problem in Katonah, but the area you are describing seems to be around Lake Katonah. Is it off Todd Road, north of Route 35? That would be closer to Goldens Bridge, Croton Falls, and to the west of Waccabuc, which is the Town of Lewisboro. Overall, Katonah is not as Jewish as Scarsdale or Armonk, but people tend to be less competitive and more tolerant of others' belief systems. I grew up with families who were of Jewish heritage, but had since gone to the Unitarian Church in Bedford, so I guess they were really reformed. I don't recall any Anti-Semitic incidents, though we did go to different schools (private), but I doubt you would have a problem in Katonah-Lewisboro, since your children would not be the only Jewish children in the school.
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:42 AM
 
Location: westchester, ny
86 posts, read 345,592 times
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My children went to the elementary school you would be zoned for if you end up in Goldens Bridge, and I can tell you that my daughter went to about 20 bar/bat mitzvahs when she was 13...often 2 a night. Her two best friends in elementary school were Jewish (we are Catholic). Jewish population is strong and well integrated with the non Jewish population. There is really no "us and them" mentality up here, which is what I love about it. The only reason people will ostracize you is if you give them a good reason to, but it will not be because of your religion or income level.
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