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Ask Shifra

Something Different... Answering questions and making curious observations (online) since 2005.

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Thursday, November 03, 2005

Six Flags- Great (overwhelmingly Jewish) Adventure - A Sociological Perspective

As I mentioned in the comments section earlier I did indeed take my children to the NCSY Six Flags Trip over Chol Hamoad Sukkos. I know it's old news now but I haven't had the time to write this up until today, so forgive me.

I had some reservations about going, but I went anyway and my daughters and I really did have a good time. Although a good number of Jews turned out there were still quite a mixed group at the park which gave things an air of (almost) normalcy. It was a fairly quiet day at the park (probably because the weather was cool) but I am not a fan of scorching hot weather so for me it was perfect.

Although this event was sponsored by NCSY the actual attendees were not your usual NCSY types this is the Jewish demographic breakdown based on my observation:

40% Chassidim - 6-9 kids men occasionally riding the rides with their kids, women on stroller patrol with the younger ones. These were probably the best dressed people Six Flags had even seen except maybe that old guy who drives the bus on the their commercials (I believe he wear a tux.)

40% Teens and PreTeens and counselor types- These kids looked like the NCSYers I remember. The girls (who were apparently 6 flags aficionados) wore knee length flared skirts with leggings underneath.
Note to self: wearing a knee length a skirt and a tichel (headscarf) on the flying swings ride is not a good idea.

The boys wore hooded sweatshirts and baseball caps and stared at the girls from safe distances without interacting with them.

10% Other - Of this 10% most were yeshivish looking families with (mostly) younger children the women were wearing glamorous sheitels (to a windy amusement park? O...K....) the men generally left their hats in the car. There were a few groups of adult singles who just came to have some discounted fun, a couple Russian families, and of course me and my girls.

Here are some of my general observations:

Jews like black. Most of the women I saw were dressed almost exclusively in black- black skirt, black tights, black jacket. The men too, of course, with the exception of their white shirts.

Frum people like to dress their children alike. If you are taking your kids on a trip I suppose it's handy to have your kids all dressed in the same outfits so that you can easily spot them HOWEVER when every kid in Brooklyn has the same coat this may not work to your advantage.

Men are Funny. As part of their October Halloween theme Six Flags has a group of male and female dancers dressed as zombies put on a big dance number in front of the ferris wheel a few times a day. The sound track was loud covers of rock songs with a slightly morbid theme to them. This show was visible from an area in front of the ferris wheel but also from some higher ground from a good distance away. Very few of the Jewish men stood in the viewing area in front of the dancers. But I noticed quite a few standing quite still in the outlying areas with their eyes fixed on the stage. One of the men was holding an open sefer in his hands as if he was learning... Weird.


At 12:14 PM, Blogger and so it shall be... said...

Man....I loved going to GA (was it called 6 flags in the 80's?) on Chol Hamoed Pesach. i don't remember ever seeing chassidim back then.

At 12:43 PM, Blogger Little Wolf said...

Over course the men were staring, what would you expect?

As to the gent with the open sefer, he was learning, it just wasn't from the sefer.

At 1:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To be nitpicky, 40+40+10 is not 100.

At 2:07 PM, Blogger Shifra said...

LOL! You are right! I posted this when I meant to save it as a draft.
After thinking about it I'd give another 5% to the chasidim and another 5% to the "others" group.

At 4:14 PM, Blogger Elie said...

My sons have been to various amusement parks on the "boys camps only" day that they have each summer. They're always amused by some of the chassidic kids who wear what they call "water bekkishes" (giant black robe/poncho numbers) into the wave pool. Even with no women around they won't be seen in just bathing suits!

At 11:28 PM, Blogger MC Aryeh said...

You missed your calling - you should have been a sociologist! Good observations...

At 2:47 PM, Anonymous Viagra Online Without Prescription said...

I'm not sure if Jewish actually like black color. I live in a Jewish community and I have to say they don't usually dress in black.


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