The Daily Beast last week ranked America’s 30 Most Jewish Cities and there were a few surprises, a few no-brainers, and some places we thought should have made the cut but didn’t.
Of no surprise: New York is No. 1 on the list, followed by Miami, and Philadelphia.
Surprise, you made the list: We bet you didn’t expect Las Vegas to pop up on the list, let alone in the Top 10. Jews make up 4.8 percent of the population in Sin City, which is also home to 14 kosher restaurants. The word on the street is the Chabad rabbi there frequently helps lundsmen pay for flights home after they blow their money in the casinos. Other unexpected small cities on the list include Albany, N.Y. (No. 12), Springfield and Pittsfield, Mass. (No. 15 and 16 respectively), New London, Conn. (No. 27), and Harrisburg, Pa. (No. 30).
Surprise, you didn’t make the list: Teaneck, or North Jersey in general. Granted, Teaneck is not a city, nor did the list include regions. Since Daily Beast made its selections based on per capita Jewish population, number of synagogues, and number of kosher restaurants, we were still surprised that Teaneck didn’t make the cut with an overall population of just more than 39,000 (according to the 2000 Census) and more than 20 synagogues and more than 20 kosher restaurants (and growing). Also missing from the list is Monsey, N.Y., which is home to more than 100 synagogues and where, according to the Census, 41 percent of people speak Yiddish. Like Teaneck, however, Monsey is not a city. It is classified as a census-designated place in the Rockland County town of Ramapo.