Rabbi looks to ease Kiryas Joel tensions

A Hasidic rabbi is looking to help ease tensions between the village of Kiryas Joel and its neighbors. The Orthodox Jewish community of about 22,000

Rabbi Joseph Kolakowski wants to clear up what he calls misconceptions about his community.

Rabbi Joseph Kolakowski wants to clear up what he calls misconceptions about his community. (10/13/15)

MIDDLETOWN - A Hasidic rabbi is looking to help ease tensions between the village of Kiryas Joel and its neighbors.

The Orthodox Jewish community of about 22,000 is currently embroiled in a battle to expand its borders. The village is just about 1 square mile, but it comprises nearly triple the population it did 20 years ago.

That's why the village was given the OK to expand by 164 acres last month. The move infuriated neighbors citing concerns over their own quality of life.

Rabbi Joseph Kolakowski wants to clear up what he calls misconceptions about his community. He held a forum at the SUNY Orange Rowley Center in Middletown Tuesday night.

SUNY Orange global studies chair Paul Basinski says the forum is the first step toward starting a much-needed conversation.

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Annexation to Village of Kiryas Joel

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