Reader’s Matzav: Cleaning Ladies Destroying Lakewood


cleaning-ladiesDear Editor,

We’ve read countless articles and letters here on about illegal immigrants, especially the large number of them in Lakewood, NJ. The simple solution which I would like to share with the readers of is for the olam to stop hiring illegal domestic help. In English, that means to stop hiring cleaning ladies.

I am a landlord myself. I can tell you that the only income that these Mexicans have is from the women. When I go to collect rent, the men are all home. They can’t find jobs, or they don’t want or need to.

For argument’s sake, let’s say that every family in Lakewood has 6 hours a week of cleaning help. (I know that many families have more, or perhaps less, but let’s use this as an example.) With 8,750 families in Lakewood (it is actually up to 9,200 by now, I believe), that’s 52,500 hours per week. 52,500 times $8 an hour (which, by the way, is a low number, as most cleaning ladies charge $10 an hour) is $420,000 per week. Times that by 52 weeks and you get $21,840,000 per year!

My fellow readers, do you realize what we are doing to ourselves? We are giving $21 million annually to the illegals in town and then we complain that they are destroying our communities!

It is very nice that the owner of the local Toys For Thought store, Hershel Herskowitz, put up an ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent) Volunteer Corps sign on his recently purchased property on Second Street. Fed up with the downtown situation, Hershel decided to do something and I give him credit for that. But actions like that do not address the root and source of the problem and that which is feeding it every single day: the cleaning ladies.

Each one of us should start with ourselves and stop supporting illegals. If we can get half of the olam reading to switch to, say, an older Polish woman, we can cut the illegal population in half, which would then cut the school budget in half… You get my drift.

If we want to change the Matzav, there is only one way. Start with the cleaning ladies.

 Name Withheld

Lakewood, NJ


  1. Great haschala! Now lead the way and set up an agency to provide the community with the alternative help and you will accomplish your goal. I daresay that our community will even be willing to pay $11 an hour if it means reclaiming our town.


  3. So Hypocritical . You are making money off them by renting your property to them . When you stop renting tto them ,then come back and give everybody else mussar .

  4. i commend matazav for finally analyzing, and identifiable the root cause of the problem thats destroying our town , financially and otherwise.

    I firmly believe that no sane person would pay $25 per hour for cleaning help. once people realize the true cost of these cleaning helps, they will on their own find another solution.

    The only way to gain ground is with a hasbara campaign.
    go matazav go
    tizku L’mitvois

  5. You are one Tzeh Mishta person. You need help. I just went over to the Dayans wife, and asked her if she wants to clean my floors or my toilets. She refused. So I went to the Mashgiachs mother. She also refused. I am stuck, now. I dont have who should do my floors, because I fired my cleaning lady, because you told me to.

    Come on ,be realistic. No one wants to do your floors. Even the illegal immigrant doesn’t want to do it. She is only doing it Blais Braira. Lighten up. Put your calculator back in the drawer. and stop making Cheshbonos.

    By the way, do you realize that $21,000,000 ($21 million) over 10 years is $210 million . Do you know how many poor people could have been fed for this money, how many Baalei Tshuva we could have made, How many Kallahs we could have married, how many yeshivos we could have helped. All Lakewooders are asked all at once, “tell your wives – from now on they are doing the floors (or in other houses the wives should tell their husbands).
    If the Yeshivos would have money, they could pay the melamdim well. If the melamdim had money, they would be able to hire illegal immigrants to do their floors. OIB AZOY, its takeh better that we dont give the yeshivos more money, so that the melamdim wont hire illegals.
    I am so happy that you figured out what the problem with Lakewood is.Did someone help you with this thought or is it mamish your own?

  6. well, look at it this way if you Mr. landlord who I hope isn’t going against halacha, or the law (for assisting illegal residency in the US, and you seem to do so knowingly), would only rent to old polish people we wouldn’t have illegals to hire!!! (definitely not as many)

  7. Do you realize that they make the economy run in Lakewood? Every mosad has Mexican cleaning help; every resturant has mexicans in the kitchen, your gardeners, mechanics, etc.. Almost every business runs on them. Why– Because they are cheap. Noone wants to spend an extra dollar if they don’t have to. Myself included. It’a avery idealistic thought but not too realistic.

  8. Let’s not forget that your well documented survey that determined that all the men are home without work is also ludicrous. They are working all over town

  9. Why aren’t most families doing their own cleaning? A lot of ppl don’t earn enough to justify hiring out and kids can learn to help.

  10. Who said that the “older Polish woman” is a legal US resident?

    If you’d like to be a bigot and say “we don’t want Hispanics in our town”, then simply say that.

    Also – as another comment mentions – stop renting them apartments if you feel its ruining the community!

  11. Your numbers are ludicrous. Of the ~8500 families in Lakewood, less than half employ cleaning help (strike young couples and empty nesters off the top and you’re close to that number and not everyone left over uses help). Of those who do, 6 hours a week is a gross overestimation, half that as an average makes more sense. Further, between the times when the helper doesn’t show up and the weeks that a family is away, Yom Tov, etc., they’re typically used closer to 40 weeks than 52. Now let’s do the math: 8500 x 50% x 3 x 40 x $8 = $4,080,000. Easily more money than that is spent on… sushi, schnaaps, waxing, pechelach and any other of myriad narishkeiten.

    Besides, the issue isn’t employing them – it’s housing them. The fact that they work in Lakewood doesn’t make them eligible for public schools, rather that they live in Lakewood. The real cost is being brought upon us by individuals like this poster: landlords who are making their livings upon the backs of the greater community. It’s be cheaper in the long run if they just schnorred door-to-door than to “earn” a living by providing housing in 08701 for families from outside of the community which contribute to the already overwhelming tax burden by consuming a disproportionate share of public resources.

  12. “I am a landlord myself.”
    Why are you renting to them!!??!!
    First stop renting and giving them a place to live then tell everyone else to stop hiring cleaning ladies. And yes, #5 is right! I’m a man but I see what my wife and relatives put up with. Please provide an alternative.

  13. that you go onto a jewish site, & see such bickering is astounding, why can’t we make our points without bashing each other? about the topic brought up in the above article, i can honestly say, that the mess in all our homes is due to laziness, my house used to be messy when i got home, & i was upset of course cause “after a whole day of learning/working this is what i have to come home to”? so let me ask you, what do you do instead of cleaning? sit there & try to relax? we all know “adom l’amal yulad” and we reap reward from that amailus, try you’ll see your much happier, & save the cost of hiring help. and no it’s not necessarily the wifes job, she also has a day that to her seemed just as stressful as yours seemed to you!! about illegals, my father was 1, from Eretz Yisroel, does being illegal mean you did anything wrong as a person? so lets try to leave such ways of referring like that to ppl off jewish sites.(not that i’m saying it was intentional)(v’acum she-roeh zot,omar aleinu she-anu sonei anashim, v’zeh sacanah.)besides the mishna that “chaviv adam shenivra b’tzelem. (ayain R’ Elchonon, kovits ma’amarim)

  14. good point “hashemyishmor” R yaakov kaamenetzky said once that the lack of “open arms” towards immigrants is a middah of Sdom!!

  15. i can’t even think of where to start. anyone legal does not want to clean houses as they can get much nicer jobs easily. Any illegal that speaks a relatively decent english can also get a job as a companion or aide. Finding cleaning help is very difficult! but for all the people saying do it yourself maybe give your wives a weeks vacation and take over the house and then tell me again not to have cleaning help! by the way the mexican women follow their men no questions asked. if the men did not have employment in every store, school and catering hall the women would not be there. I am appalled when i go shopping and the only frum person working in the store is the owner, especially stores that sell ready cooked food.

  16. Dear people like #5,
    I am a woman, many of many, all close in age – I don’t have a cleaning lady. We don’t live in a palace fit for a queen, however we do live in a clean well kept house. All my work, and yes I don work outside of my home, cook meals every night, bake challah etc……
    I think if everyone took their ‘cleaning lady ‘ money , they might find they could pay a bit more in school tuition too! I think a cleaning lady is a LUXURY.
    My kids (mostly boys) help with the laundry, setting for meals, cleaning after, cleaning their rooms . I think it’s a life skill, that most girls just don’t have anymore.

  17. Dear #23,
    Please be more open minded. Many women do have a hard time without cleaning help. In fact, choshuve Rebitzens – Rebz. Cohen (R Simcha Bunim’s Rebz.) among them – have been known to strongly advocate husbands providing cleaning help for their wives. There ARE times when it is NOT a luxury. Please speak for yourself.

  18. #25 stop smellin and look at the facts crime is going up. and we dont need more aino yehudim. dont act like a rebbe giving brochos

  19. I do not Live in Lakewood. We are a family of Bli Ayin Hara 11 children. There have been times we have had cleaning help and times we could not afford it.

    However, for a family who is not paying full tuition to spend $2000 per year (or more) on cleaning help while the rebbeim are in dire need of payment from the mosdos, is unreasonable and just plain wrong.

    I don’t care if it is a Mexican, Polish, or Russian lady. If your matsav does not allow for you to pay full tuition let the husband help the wife, and pay the extra (cleaning lady) money as tution to the people who teach your kids Torah!!

  20. Do I smell correctly that maybe #27 is a Rebbe, that would like a raise.

    “The one thing that is missing from the entire discussion is “Al thai Dun Es Chaveiro Ad Shtagiya Limkomo” which the Bartenura says “Shlo Tagia”

    Just because you can live without help, does not mean others also dont. Constantly judging others by your own standards is wrong and not as Chazal teach us. Because you feel comfortable wearing sneakers, doesn’t mean I will also be comfortable. Maybe my feet require leather shoes. Because you can ride on a bike, or subway, doesn’t mean everyone can etc. Ask your parents and grandparents. They will tell you that in Europe before the war and in Eretz Yisroel, they also always had help, to varying degrees.

  21. #27 – often the cleaning help is needed because the wife is working, too, precisely to be able to afford the tuition they are already charged.

  22. Again i think the main pont is not getting through.
    The issue is not if a person should have cleaning help or not. The point is that because we are supporting these people with jobs, they therefore live in lakewood. Now without these people we would save $100,000,000. in taxes annualy.
    The readers have to realize that it is costing us not $9 per hour for a cleaning lady, but rather over $20.
    so i ask you is this a bargain?
    it would be cheaper to pay another 20 cents for a slice of pizza if the 4 workers werent illegals and draing our town budget’s.
    thats the point- chanie

  23. Finally, someone willing to admit that Lakewood is self-destructing. A frum Jew should not live in a community that is being destroyed. This is all of course the fault of the Mexican Zionists.

  24. Another solution:

    Let the husband/father get a job. He can still be kovea ittim laTorah, and his wife will not have to work full-time/do all the house-work/take care of 10 kids while she’s expecting #11.

    I am older and out of this parsha, but let me tell you – I see what we are putting our younger women through and it breaks my heart.

  25. Instead of one hr MACHSOM L’FEE daily, all should be required to clean the next door neighbors floors and toilets for one hour daily. We accomplish:
    1. Tremendous chesed to your neighbor.
    2. No one will hire Mexicans or Polish
    3. Husbands will come home and be happy.
    4. Le’maaseh, the toilet will be clean

  26. #35 you left out the most important part.
    during that one hour that they clean the toilets, they will surely not speak loshon hora. SO, you accomplised both at the same time, while doing chesed and no money involved.!!

  27. I agree with #33. If a wife can’t handle it unless she has help because she has to work to support her husband, then her husband should go to work.
    Adam had one curse. Chava another.
    There’s no need for all these young girls who don’t know what they’re in for (working, babies, cleaning, cooking, child care) to voluntarily take on two curses!

  28. To PL: I hear you but there is a difference. The working guy gets some sort of break and time off. The wife, and SAHMs included, is on call 24/7. If she can’t count on her husband to occasionally pitch in or pinch hit, AND no cleaning help you’re looking at serious burnout fast.

    I say this as someone who does NOT have regular cleaning help but can’t discount the need. Maybe people can cut down on their hours, but you can’t expect people to go cold turkey.

  29. Tzippi: What does SAHM stand for?

    My point exactly: a mother has enough to do WITHOUT a 9-5 job. My other issue with “help” of any nationality is that children are not being valued as they should. I’m not sure who is okay with all those sentimental moments (first steps, “Ma-Ma,” etc.) being shared with someone who doesn’t care about your child. I’m not talking about clean toilets; if a woman comes to scrub for a couple of hours a week, that’s one thing.

    But she is not your child’s mother, and cannot give that child the security he/she needs. It takes an absolute Superwoman to juggle all these roles and still have secure children. But I’m not a Superwoman.

    And the writer’s reasoning against Hispanic women is that the women work and the men sit somewhere (which I doubt). (1) Polish men have such a work ethic? (2)Since when is Lakewood against women working?

  30. it sounds to me the majority of you are racists and immigrants yourself! If you don’t like culturally rich Lakewood, go back to where you came from.

  31. Those cleaning ladies are helping you out. If you don’t think that it is right to hire someone who’s father helped kill out millions of Jews or if there is any other reason you don’t want to hire a cleaning lady, then don’t. Noone is forcing you to do anything. A cleaning woman is a tremendous help for large families and also for smaller families. You don’t have to agree with the idea, but don’t knock it.