Expanden los micro-créditos comunitarios en Boro Park

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Expanden los micro-créditos comunitarios en Boro Park

Lazer Chaim Zinger washes talleisim. His small storefront on Lee  Avenue, in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, looks like any dry cleaner,  with a row of tagged plastic-sheathed garments hanging behind the counter. In  this Hasidic Jewish neighborhood, however, you have to take your long black coat  somewhere else.

For $100, Zinger will hand-wash your tallis and shine its  atara, the fringe of sterling studs stitched around the neck of the  prayer shawl. Until last year, the father of seven ran his business from his  apartment. That changed in June 2012, when Zinger opened his shop with a $25,000  interest-free loan from the Hebrew Free Loan Society.

HFLS is not part of the Hasidic community. Yet as poverty rates have risen in  Orthodox Brooklyn, the 120-year-old Manhattan-based Jewish charity has lent  nearly $1.6 million since 2009 to help launch small Hasidic-owned  businesses.

The idea is to help ultra-Orthodox Jews find work, despite their lack of a  secular education, by supporting them as they start their own companies.

“It’s not that they don’t want to work,” HFLS executive director Shana Novick  said about Brooklyn’s Hasidic Jews. Eastern European Jews have always owned  small shops, Novick said. “That’s what we’re helping them to do here.”

The extraordinary growth of Brooklyn’s Hasidic Jewish community came at the  worst possible time in terms of New York City’s economy. There are 240,000  Hasidic Jews in the New York area today, up from a relative handful just 50  years ago. At the same time, the restructuring of the city’s economy has  severely limited the job options for people without even a high school  diploma.

Read more: http://forward.com/articles/181136/mom-and-pop-hasidic-businesses-get-big-boost-from/?p=all#ixzz2aTjHeN3I

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