Women Aren’t Allowed To Drive In Kiryas Joel, New York

| by Michael Allen

Kiryas Joel, New York, is a town of about 22,000 people. The village sits between New York City and Poughkeepsie.

Most of the residents are reportedly traditional Hasidic Jews who speak more Yiddish than English.

One of the former townspeople, Frimet Goldberger, claims that she wasn't allowed to drive because she is a woman.

Goldberger recently wrote on that "women can't be jailed for driving like they can in Saudi Arabia. But driving is still forbidden. A woman who drives would risk being shunned, and her children expelled from the private Hasidic school. She could be excommunicated from the community."

Goldberger says that when she and her husband left Kiryas Joel to live a less-restrictive lifestyle in nearby Rockland County, her father told her mother, “She will kill herself and her children.”

Goldberger adds that she got her first driver's license at age 23.

The New York Times described Kiryas Joel in 2006: "A network of sidewalks twirl across the village, so the women, who do not drive, are able to walk to the clinic and supermarket. Baby strollers seem to be everywhere: in the lobbies of buildings, on sidewalks, outside the stores."

The article added that women in Kiryas Joel "are married soon after they graduate from high school, work until they give birth to their second child and then become stay-at-home mothers."

Sources: The New York Times, / Image Credit: Daniel Case