Thursday, January 22, 2009

Kiryas Joel vs "Non Heimish" Cab Companies... This Story Doesn't Pass The Smell Test.

HaMercaz is reporting a story about the town of Kiryas Joel and their plans to deal with issues arising from cab companies in the city.

According to the article, Kiryas Joel has five "heimish" cab companies. However, lately, non-Jewish cab companies have been gaining market share in the village due to cheaper costs.

The story alleges that some of the drivers from the "non-heimish" companies are illegal aliens without driver's licenses and that many of the cars are not inspected.

One suggested solution is a requirement that drivers obtain a special permit/mediallion (requiring a background check).

The article concludes (bolding mine):

"The law will benefit the five heimish and responsible taxi firms operating in Kiryas Joel," the article concludes. "The law will strengthen the ability of Kiryas Joel residents to further patronize their own brethren."

Is it just me, or does anyone else think this stinks to high heaven?

The Wolf

(UPDATE: The original source for this story was Frum Factory.)


ProfK said...

"The law will strengthen the ability of Kiryas Joel residents to further patronize their own brethren." So residents are physically/mentally/emotionally unable to patronize the heimishe companies? Their fingers are too crippled to correctly dial any but the outside cab companies? What this smells like is price fixing and eliminating any competition that might result in an economic plus for residents. I'm just cynical enough to wonder if the same dustup would have occurred if the outside companies were charging the same prices that the heimishe companies are charging.

Ahavah said...

Out here in economic reality land, Wolf, we are going to have to patronize more Jewish businesses and keep our dollars in the community as much as possible if our communities are going to survive. That means we will have to pay a bit more for local services and living wages. Getting the cheapest anything is not always the wisest use of our money. Sometimes you have to pick quality over quantity, and community spending over sending dollars out of the community (this is called "Relocalization"). Who do you want your dollars to benefit - a Jewish family, or not? We have been cutting the support out from under our own people by sending out money to businesses (wally-wort being the infamous example) that do not benefit our communities. It has to stop or you can kiss the whole idea of living wages good-bye.

BrooklynWolf said...


I think you might have missed the point. It sounds to me (and perhaps I'm reading too much into this) like they're trying to use legislation to force out the non-heimish drivers.

It's one thing to vote with your pocketbook, but it's altogether something else to try to stack the deck by using the force of law.

Or am I understanding the article wrong?

The Wolf

Dave said...

If I were a non-Heimish company, I'd go follow those hoops, and if they denied me the license, or if I could demonstrate that they were not applying the same rules to the Heimish companies, I would have a very nice lawsuit against KJ.

Mikeinmidwood said...

Profk has it right, they can simply use heimish ones and not the non heimish, if they cared so much to do so.

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

HEIMISH, adj. literally 'home-ish'.

1. homestyle, i.e. chunky orange juice
2. homely, i.e. ugly

Rich said...

Wolf - I agree with you 100%. if these people are so concerned about the heimish drivers, then they should make sure to only call them and to tell their friends to do likewise. maybe their service sucks and they know people will go elsewhere when given a choice so they went drying to the rabbis.

Steg - In my experience, heimish usually is translated better as "dirty or disorganized". Just think of the last restaurant you were at that was called heimish or the last shul that was heimish and i think you'll agree.

ProfK said...

"Heimish" as "dirty or disorganized"? Just because a restaurant is kosher doesn't make it "heimish." Maybe it has a different connotation/denotation to a younger audience, but to the "older" generations heimish is "home-like," even "comfortable like home was," that home being Europe. Rabbi Frankel's shul in Midwood is "heimish." Dirty? Banish that unHungarian thought. The shtiblach here in SI are both "Heimish." Clean as a whistle, organized minyanim and activities.

Lion of Zion said...


"Out here in economic reality land . . ."

sorry but you're view of reality is a little off.
there may be (and that's a big may be) an obligation to pay a little extra to help a jew, but paying extra to get less (which is what buying heimish often means) is not meritorious. it is s contrary to economic sense and overall fiscal responsibility. (for example, i'll bet our yeshiva tuitions would be a bit cheaper if they were willing to consider non-heimish suppliers)

1) can anyone spell boycott? i can just imagine what the comments will look like when the general press picks up on this
2) please. heimish doesn't mean jewish. it's a specific type of jewish. i know that i (and probably a lot of readers here) are not heimish. so this is not about helping klal yisroel, but rather a specific sliver of it.

Product said...

You report this story from HaMercaz
, whose source is VIN
, whose source is… Me.
It was I who scanned the original Yiddish excerpt, and it was I who translated it to English.
It’s amazing how fast things spin on the internet.
It’s also amazing why HaMercaz wouldn’t credit the source.

BrooklynWolf said...

My apologies. I didn't see the VIN article and I certainly didn't know you were the original source.

I've edited my post to give proper credit.

The Wolf

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

as someone who grew up in Boropark but who is not "heimish", i was just joking about how i associate the word.

Ahavah said...

Dear Lion,

Regrettably, my reality is not off at all. Family businesses all over this nation, Jewish and non-Jewish, have been dropping like flies because people are too short-sighted to see that supporting defacto slaves in third world countries instead of supporting fellow countrymen at living wages does nothing but make sure NOBODY has living wages in the end. Why do you think wages have been stagnant (factoring in inflation) since the 70s and benefits are disappearing into thin air? Because you decided you'd rather have the 1.00 widget made by 11 years olds locked in a factory and made to work 15 hours a day seven days a week with no sabbath, no holidays, and no environmental or safety regulations. You wouldn't work in those conditions for ten seconds, much less ten years, and yet you are happy to keep people elsewhere in those conditions by buying that cheap crap instead of paying a fair price for the product to a fellow Jew or fellow American. People like you are the reason the economy is in the dump right now - there would never have been any problem with people qualifying for regular mortgages and regular car loans is we had supported living wage American jobs. Hope you're proud of that cheap plastic crap - and the defacto slaves you help oppress. Hope you['re proud of those 11 year olds you kept out of school and out of any chance for a real life - not to mention your Jewish brothers who are falling into poverty because you won't support their businesses. Yeah, that's real smart. Just because "not paying more for less" might SEEM like good economic sense, it isn't. These things don't take place in a vacuum. We have to make moral and ethical use of our money, and using it to deny our fellows a living and to enslave poor people in third world countries is neither.

Lion of Zion said...


i'm going to ignore your rant about my role in oppressing the 11-year-olds of the world, etc. because unless you are living off the land somewhere in the midwest then you are just as guilty as i am in perpetuating that oppression.

i will note the following:

1) when frum jews talk about helping out jewish businesses, they don't really mean jewish businesses, but rather frum (or in this case heimish) businesses. so i take offense at talk of supporting jewish businesses since i myself are neither frum (in the brooklyn sociological context) nor heimish. i'd never get a approval to run a car service in kiryas joel.

2) what you essentially propose is to remove competition from the equation. please explain how that makes economic sense?

Jeff Eyges said...

The VIV article is a hoot: "The taxi firms introduced immoral drivers who caused inconvenience and untold sorrow both bodily and spiritually." Right, 'cause, when you need a cab, the driver's morality is foremost in your mind.

And the comments:

"Just let women drive."

"Chas V'Shulam"

In terms of promoting their lifestyle, Hareidim are their own worst enemies.

Rebeljew said...

This story doesn't even try not to stink.

Ahavah said...

No, I'm not suggesting removing competition. I'm suggesting a level playing field. The fact that you dismiss the 11-year olds with a wave and says "everybody's doing it" proves my point. You justify your immoral and unethical purchasing habits, and accuse me of unethical spending even though you don't know me, to try and make yourself look less guilty. FAIL.

Obviously, as long as you've got yours, you don't care about the issue of living wages in this country. And I'm curious how you think "competition" is going to bring living wages back to this country when you're "competing" with places that, as I said above in my "rant," have no laws that we, as a Judeo-Christian society, have decided WE must have for ourselves - or failing that, I'm curious as to how you think we can continue to live without living wages. Every evidence indicates we can't continue on. How do you think people can afford to support a "service" economy (read: doing other people's chores) when they can hardly feed themselves? And by the way, some non-frum Jews own businesses, too. - not that you care.

Anonymous said...

I noticed the silly Jewish man was talking about keeping Jew money in the community, newsflash, Kyrias Joel has so many people living below the paoverty line because they can't stop having kids that it is one of the highest per-captia welfare areas in the country. Based on several economic criteria the Census Bureau has declared Kyrias Joel the "poorest community in the entire United States." (You make Detroit and East St. Louis look prosperous)

So maybe before talking about "your" money, you should realize it is really our money that we have to pay in taxes to support you and your crazy life style. Have you ever just considered going to Israel and being a pain in your own peoples ass? Oh I forgot Israelis don't like you and you exile yourselves from your homeland. What's the problem? Too Jewish to live in Jew land?