A man listens to a Rabbi’s address at a gathering for Satmar Hasidic Jews in New York December 4, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Hasidic Jews are among the most poverty-stricken of New York’s Jewish communities, according to a report by the UJA-Federation and the Met Council on Jewish Poverty.

The study, the first of its kind since 2002, found that 28 percent of poor Jewish households are Orthodox. Some 63 percent of Orthodox respondents identify with the Hasidic sect, an isolated community characterized by large households and low levels of educational achievement.

The study also found that 58 percent of the Jewish poor in the eight-county New York area, which includes Westchester, Suffolk and Nassau in addition to New York City’s five boroughs, live in Brooklyn, with 8 percent concentrated in Williamsburg. About 55 percent of all Jewish households in Williamsburg are poor.

In many ways, the story of poverty in the Hasidic community aligns with the greater narrative of poverty in the U.S. Rabbi David Niederman, Executive Director and President of the United Jewish Organizations (UJO) of Williamsburg explains that before the housing bubble disastrously burst in 2008, “a lot of people in the Hasidic community were involved directly or indirectly in related businesses to the construction industry. Economic growth in housing consumed a lot of labor and business activities. So when the housing just stopped, a large segment of the local community here in Williamsburg lost their business.”