Mention the word “Brooklyn” to any Jewish Elder and they get a wistful look in their eye, remembering decades past when they strolled the streets of Flatbush, Brighton Beach, and Coney Island. Mention “Brooklyn” to Jewish Adults and they think about the religious areas of Crown Heights and Borough Park. But when you mention “Brooklyn” to a Jewish Young Adult, you get a sense of determined pride. Why? Because JYAs are out to Reclaim Brooklyn.
Brooklyn has always had a sizable Jewish influence. According to records, between a quarter to a third of the area has been Jewish ever since the mid 19th century. In fact, according to city records, by 1924 Brooklyn (which then included some parts of Queens), had the largest Jewish population of any community in the world. But somewhere from the Sixties and through the Nineties, Brooklyn lost it’s edge, and JYAs turned to cooler up-and-coming areas like LA or SF.
But in the past decade, JYAs have decided to take a united stand to make Brooklyn hip again, moving in droves to neighborhoods where Jewish Elders and Jewish Adults never ventured. Areas like Bushwick, Bed-Sty, Carrol Gardens, and Park Slope are the new stomping grounds for the uber-hip Jew scene. Forget the Upper West Side or Murray Hill, if you want other JYAs to take note of you, move into a converted loft in Gowanus or Red Hook and start your own underground Jewish-themed micro-brewery.
And it also helps that Jay-Z is from there.