Welcome sign to Kiryas Joel asks for modesty

September 1, 2010 3:40:04 AM PDT
Even in scorching temperatures and under a blazing summer sun, you will not find people in Kiryas Joel dressed in tank tops and short-shorts.

And frankly, that's just the way village leaders in the Orange County community of roughly 22,000 Hasidic Jews like it.

So much so, they recently installed a pair of new signs along the village line.

The signs not only welcome visitors, but also ask them to, among other things, wear long skirts or pants, cover necklines, and maintain gender separation in all public places.

"You're not going to be arrested. Whoever wants to come, I live here, I grew up here. Actually, people know what to do. This is for people that don't know," said Kahan, a Kiryas Joel resident.

"It's good because I have children in my house. I have eight children. It is very good," another resident said.

The village mayor was unavailable to talk about the new signs, which call Kiryas Joel, "a traditional community of modesty and values."

An area cab driver told Eyewitness News he can respect the request for respect.

"I think they have a right to do that. I mean, people do show up in inappropriate things and it offends them. So I can't argue with that," Tim Diltz said.

People Eyewitness News talked to say the signs were not put up in response to a flood of visitors who poured into the village with exposed shoulders and foul language.

The signs are really nothing more than friendly reminders about the traditions and values that are truly important in the community.