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December 22 , 2010

Jewish Communities of the Five Towns and the Rockaways


The Five Towns—comprising the villages of Cedarhurst and Lawrence and the communities of Woodmere, Hewlett, and Inwood—is an area nestled on the South Shore of Long Island next to the easternmost part of Queens, known as Far Rockaway. Originally popular as a Jewish summer vacation spot near the Atlantic Ocean, the Five Towns and the Far Rockaway area grew to become a thriving, year-round Jewish metropolis, with thousands of families and scores of synagogues and Jewish educational institutions. A center for shopping and kosher restaurants, the Five Towns area has become one of the most popular locations for young, married Jewish couples. Jewish influence has expanded greatly in local government and education. The rich history of the early years of Jewish growth and development in the Five Towns and Rockaways lends a deeper understanding of this phenomenal change of demographics and influence that has occurred over the last few decades.

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