OJPAC filed a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request with
the Town of Monroe for all marriage certificates that were filed from year 2009
through 2018. It shows that 70.9% marriage certificates filed in the Town of
Monroe in 2009 were from Kiryas Joel. By 2014, it was 78.1% of all town
filings. By 2016 it was 84.1% of all filings, and last year, 2018, it was 88.5% of all filings. This data debunks the
widely held myth that Hasidim have only a rabbinical certificate.
The filings by Hasidim in the Town of Monroe are mostly by
people who got married in KJ, and also from a limited number of people who got
married elsewhere such as in Brooklyn but moved to KJ right away and thus filed
locally. Many people from Kiryas Joel move away after their marriage but
clearly only after filing their marriage certificate.
The records reveal that 320 marriage certificates were filed
in the Town of Monroe in 2009 of which 227 (70.9%) were by people from
Hasidic-populated Kiryas Joel. In 2014, there were 444 filings in the town of
which 347 (78.1%) were from Kiryas Joel. In 2016 the filing total was 550 of
which 463 (84.1%) came from KJ, and last year in 2018, the total filing was 601
of which 532 (88.5%) came from Kiryas Joel.
The Census survey shows that 98% of the Kiryas Joel
population lives in married couples households, as illustrated in an OJPAC video released early July 2019. Despite this fact, many people came
to our Facebook page to claim that Census data is just a survey and it can’t be
trusted. As such, OJPAC FOIL’ed the hard data on actual marriage certificate
and the results reinforce what the Census shows. Namely, that virtually
everyone from Kiryas Joel files for a legal marriage certificate.
Yossi Gestetner, Co-Founder of OJPAC, said: “It is strange
for people who use Census data as a stick against the Hasidic Community
regarding income and poverty to then dismiss Census data which debunks
a widely-held myth regarding Hasidim and marriage. Therefore we FOIL'ed
the actual marriage records, but it should be on those who make claims against
Hasidim to present facts rather than Hasidim needing to FOIL records to debunk
READ FROM The Record Oct 2, 2019: Mythbusting group: Hundreds of KJ marriage licenses issued yearly