Ohel Children's Home & Family Services
4510 16th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11204
Tel: 888-311-OHEL, 718-851-6300
Last updated on: November 27, 2006
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JEWISH AND KOSHER BROOKLYN, NEW YORK:
Brooklyn was an independent city until its consolidation with New York City in 1898, and continues to maintain a distinct culture, independent art scene, and unique architectural heritage. Many Brooklyn neighborhoods are ethnic enclaves where particular ethnic groups and cultures predominate.
Brooklyn's official motto is Eendraght Maeckt Maght. Written in the (early modern spelling of the) Dutch language, it is inspired by the motto of the United Dutch Provinces and translated "Unity makes strength". The motto is displayed on the borough seal and flag, which also feature a young robed woman bearing fasces, a traditional emblem of republicanism. Brooklyn's official colors are blue and gold.
The Dutch were the first Europeans to settle in the area on the western end of Long Island, also inhabited by a Native American people, the Lenape (often referred to in contemporary colonial documents by the Lenape place-name for one of the larger native settlements:"Canarsee"). The first Dutch settlements, established in 1624, were called Midwout (Midwood) and Vlacke Bos (Flatbush). The Dutch also purchased land during the 1630s from the Mohawks in present-day Gowanus, Red Hook, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and Bushwick. The Village of Breuckelen, named for Breukelen in the province of Utrecht in the Netherlands, was authorized by the Dutch West India Company in 1646; it became the first municipality in what is now New York State. At the time, Breuckelen was part of New Netherland. Other villages which were later incorporated into Brooklyn were Boswijk (Bushwick), Nieuw Utrecht (New Utrecht), and Nieuw Amersfoort (Flatlands). A few houses and cemeteries still bear witness to the Dutch origins of the borough of Brooklyn.
On August, 27 1776,
Battle of Long Island (also called
the Battle of Brooklyn) was
fought in Kings County. It was the first
major battle in the
American Revolutionary War following
Declaration of Independence and the
largest battle of the entire conflict.
George Washington's defeat on the
battlefield may have cast early doubts
on his abilities as a military tactician
and leader, he did keep the
Continental Army intact with a
tactical retreat, across the
The first half of the
nineteenth century saw significant
growth along the economically strategic
East River waterfront across from New
York City. Brooklyn's population
expanded more than threefold between
1800 and 1820, doubled again in the
1820s, and doubled yet again during the
1830s. The county encompassed two
cities: the City of Brooklyn and the
Williamsburgh. Brooklyn annexed
Williamsburgh in 1854, which lost its
final "h" in the process. With the
addition of this new area, Brooklyn grew
from a substantial community of 36,236
to an imposing city of 96,838.
In 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge was completed, easing the trip to Manhattan. Brooklyn engaged in the consolidation process developing throughout the region. In 1894, Brooklyn residents voted by a slight majority to join with Manhattan, The Bronx, Queens, and Richmond (later Staten Island) to become the five boroughs of the modern New York City. This referendum took effect in 1898. Kings County retained its status as one of New York State's counties.
Founded in 1863, the Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) is a museum, library, and educational center dedicated to preserving and encouraging the study of Brooklyn's history. BHS houses materials relating to the founding of the U.S. and the history of Brooklyn and its people.
Government and politics
Since consolidation with New York City in 1898, Brooklyn has been governed by the New York City Charter that provides for a "strong" mayor-council system. The centralized New York City government is responsible for public education, correctional institutions, libraries, public safety, recreational facilities, sanitation, water supply, and welfare services.
The office of Borough President was created in the consolidation of 1898 to balance centralization with local authority. Each borough president had a powerful administrative role derived from having a vote on the New York City Board of Estimate, which was responsible for creating and approving the city's budget and proposals for land use. In 1989, the Supreme Court of the United States declared the Board of Estimate unconstitutional because Brooklyn, the most populous borough, had no greater effective representation on the Board than Staten Island, the least populous borough, a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause pursuant to the high court's 1964 "one man, one vote" decision.
Since 1990 the
Borough President has acted as an
advocate for the borough at the mayoral
agencies, the City Council, the New York
state government, and corporations.
Brooklyn's current Borough President is
Marty Markowitz, elected as a
Democrat in 2001 and re-elected in
2005, and 2009.
Each of the city's five counties (coterminous with each borough) has its own criminal court system and District Attorney, the chief public prosecutor who is directly elected by popular vote. Charles J. Hynes, a Democrat, has been the District Attorney of Kings County since 1989. Brooklyn has 16 City Council members, the largest number of any of the five boroughs. Brooklyn has 18 of the city's 59 community districts, each served by an unpaid Community Board with advisory powers under the city's Uniform Land Use Review Procedure. Each board has a paid district manager who acts as an interlocutor with city agencies.
Brooklyn's job market is driven by three main factors: the performance of the national and city economy, population flows and the borough's position as a convenient back office for New York's businesses.
Forty-four percent of Brooklyn's employed population, or 410,000 people, work in the borough; more than half of the borough's residents work outside its boundaries. As a result, economic conditions in Manhattan are important to the borough's jobseekers. Strong international immigration to Brooklyn generates jobs in services, retailing and construction.
In recent years, Brooklyn has benefited from a steady influx of financial back-office operations from Manhattan, the rapid growth of a high-tech and entertainment economy in DUMBO, and strong growth in support services such as accounting, personal supply agencies, and computer services firms.
Jobs in the borough have traditionally been concentrated in manufacturing, but since 1975, Brooklyn has shifted from a manufacturing-based to a service-based economy. In 2004, 215,000 Brooklyn residents worked in the services sector, while 27,500 worked in manufacturing. Although manufacturing has declined, a substantial base has remained in apparel and niche manufacturing concerns such as furniture, fabricated metals, and food products. The pharmaceutical company Pfizer has a manufacturing plant in Brooklyn that employs 990 workers.
Construction and services are the fastest growing sectors. Most employers in Brooklyn are small businesses. In 2000, 91% of the approximately 38,704 business establishments in Brooklyn had fewer than 20 employees. As of August 2008[update], the borough's unemployment rate was 5.9%.
Brooklyn is also home to many banks and credit unions. According to the FDIC, there are 37 banks and 21 credit unions operating in Brooklyn.
The demographics of Brooklyn are very diverse, with the borough being a melting pot for many cultures.
According to the 2010 Census, 35.7% of the population was non-Hispanic White, 31.9% non-Hispanic Black or African American, 10.4% non-Hispanic Asian, 0.4% from some other race (non-Hispanic) and 1.6% of two or more races (non-Hispanic). 19.8% of Brooklyn's population was of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin (they may be of any race).
According to the 2009 American Community Survey, Brooklyn's population was 46.6% white, of which 36.9% were non-Hispanic whites. Blacks made up 34.2% of the population, of which 32.9% were non-Hispanic blacks. Native Americans represented 0.3% of the population, while Asians made up 9.5% of the populace. Pacific Islanders comprised just 0.1% of the population, and Multiracial Americans made up 1.4% of the population. Hispanics and Latinos made up 19.6% of Brooklyn's population.
According to 2005 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, there are 2,486,235 people (up from 2.3 million in 1990), 880,727 households, and 583,922 families living in Brooklyn. The population density was 34,920/square mile (13,480/km²). There were 930,866 housing units at an average density of 13,180/square mile (5,090/km²).
|All figures are for Kings County. Sources: 1698–1771, 1790–1990, 2010|
Of the 880,727 households in Brooklyn, 38.6% were married couples living together, 22.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.7% were non-families. 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living in them. Of all households 27.8% are made up of individuals and 9.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.41.
In Brooklyn the population was spread out with 26.9% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 30.8% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. Brooklyn has more women and girls, with 88.4 males for every 100 females. Brooklyn's lesbian community is the largest out of all the New York City boroughs.
The median income for households in Brooklyn was $32,135, and the median income for a family was $36,188. Males had a median income of $34,317, which was higher than females, whose median income was $30,516. The per capita income was $16,775. About 22% of families and 25.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34% of those under age 18 and 21.5% of those age 65 or over.
Brooklyn has long been a magnet for immigrants, and many ethnic groups dominate a particular neighborhood for a time, although the neighborhoods are ever-changing as populations move in and out. For example, during the early to mid-20th century, Brownsville had a majority of Jewish residents; since the 1970s it has been majority African American. Midwood during the early 20th century was filled with ethnic Irish, then filled with Jewish residents for nearly 50 years, and is slowly becoming a Pakistani enclave. With gentrification, many of Brooklyn's neighborhoods are becoming increasingly mixed, with an influx of immigrants integrating its neighborhoods, and this may be the permanent equilibrium. Brooklyn and Queens have been a worldwide example of poor immigrants getting along most of the time, often with better results than in their home countries. It presently has substantial populations from many countries. The borough also attracts people previously living in other cities in the United States. Of these, most come from Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, Cincinnati, and Seattle.
Brooklyn contains dozens of distinct neighborhoods, representing many of the major ethnic groups found within the New York City area. The borough is home to a large African-American community. Bedford Stuyvesant is home to one of the most famous African-American communities in the city, along with Brownsville and East New York. "Bed-Stuy" is a hub for African-American culture, often referenced in hip hop and African-American arts. Brooklyn's African-American and Caribbean communities are spread throughout much of Brooklyn.
Brooklyn is also home to many Russians and Ukrainians, who are mainly concentrated in community of Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay. Brighton Beach features many Russian and Ukrainian businesses. Because of the large Ukrainian community, it has been nicknamed "Little Odessa." However, recently, it has been renamed to "Little Russia" because of the overwhelming presence of the Russian population. Originally these were mostly Jews, now however the Ukrainian and Russian communities of Brighton Beach represent various aspects of Russian culture. While previous Russian Jews have become American Jews for the most part, similarly Russian Christians have become American Christians over generations and left Brighton Beach.
Bushwick is the largest hub of Brooklyn's Hispanic-American community. Like other neighborhoods in New York City, Bushwick's Hispanic population is mainly Puerto Rican, with many Dominicans and peoples from several South American nations as well. As nearly 80% of Bushwick's population is Hispanic, its residents have created many businesses to support their various national and distinct traditions in food and other items. Sunset Park's population is 42% Hispanic, made up of these various ethnic groups.
Italian Americans are mainly concentrated in the neighborhoods of Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights and Bay Ridge, where there are many Italian restaurants and pizzerias. Italian Americans live throughout most of southern Brooklyn, including Bath Beach, Gravesend, Marine Park, Mill Basin, and Bergen Beach. The Carroll Gardens area, as well as the northern half of Williamsburg, also have long-standing Italian-American communities.
Orthodox Jews and Hasidic Jews have become concentrated in Borough Park, where there are many yeshivas, synagogues, and kosher delicatessens, as well as other Jewish businesses. Other notable religious, Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish neighborhoods are in Kensington, Midwood, Williamsburg, Flatbush, Canarsie, Sea Gate and Crown Heights. Many hospitals in Brooklyn were started by Jewish charities, including Maimonides Medical Center in Borough Park, and Brookdale in Flatbush. Many non-religious Jews are concentrated in Ditmas Park, Windsor Terrace and Park Slope. Jesse Jackson in-famously referred to New York as 'Hymie Town' upon coming to New York's neighborhoods as reported in the Washington Post interview with Milton Coleman in 1984. Brooklyn's Polish are largely concentrated in Greenpoint, which is home to Little Poland. They are also scattered throughout the southern parts of Brooklyn.
Brooklyn's Greek Americans live throughout the borough, but their businesses today are concentrated in Downtown Brooklyn near Atlantic Avenue. Greek-owned diners are throughout the Borough.
Chinese live throughout the southern parts of Brooklyn, in Sunset Park, Bensonhurst, Gravesend, an Homecrest. The largest concentration is in Sunset Park along 8th Avenue, which is known for Chinese culture. It is called "Brooklyn's Chinatown". Many Chinese restaurants can be found throughout Sunset Park, and the area hosts a popular Chinese New Year celebration.
Scots-Irish Americans can be found throughout Brooklyn, in low to moderate concentrations in the neighborhoods of Bay Ridge, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, and Vinegar Hill. Many moved east on Long Island in the mid-twentieth century.
Today, Arab Americans have moved into the southwest portion of Brooklyn, particularly in Bay Ridge, where there are many Middle Eastern restaurants and hookah lounges. Bay Ridge has Arabs of both Christian and Islamic faiths, where there are Arabic churches, particularly Maronite and Coptic Orthodox churches, as well as Mosques. Earlier, the area was known predominately for its Irish, Norwegian, and Scottish populations. Traditionally, many Middle Eastern businesses have flourished on Atlantic Avenue west of Flatbush Avenue.
Brooklyn's West Indian community is concentrated in the Crown Heights, Flatbush, East Flatbush, Kensington and Canarsie neighborhoods in central Brooklyn. Brooklyn is home to one of the largest communities of West Indians outside of the Caribbean, being rivaled only by London, Miami and Toronto. Crown Heights and Flatbush are home to many of Brooklyn's West Indian restaurants and bakeries. The West Indian Labor Day Parade, takes place every Labor Day on Eastern Parkway.
Brooklyn has played a major role in various aspects of American culture including literature, cinema and theater. It has the world-renowned Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Philharmonic and the second largest public art collection in the United States, housed in the Brooklyn Museum.
The Brooklyn Museum, opened in 1897, is the nation's second-largest public art museum. It has in its permanent collection more than 1.5 million objects, from ancient Egyptian masterpieces to contemporary art. The Brooklyn Children's Museum, the world's first museum dedicated to children, opened in December 1899. The only such New York State institution accredited by the American Association of Museums, it is one of the few globally to have a permanent collection – over 30,000 cultural objects and natural history specimens.
The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) includes a 2,109-seat opera house, a 874-seat theater, and the art house BAM Rose Cinemas. Bargemusic and St. Ann's Warehouse are located on the other side of Downtown Brooklyn in the DUMBO arts district. Brooklyn Technical High School has the second-largest auditorium in New York City (after Radio City Music Hall), with a seating capacity of over 3,000.
Brooklyn has several local newspapers: The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Bay Currents (Oceanfront Brooklyn), Brooklyn View, The Brooklyn Paper, and Courier-Life Publications. Courier-Life Publications, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, is considered to be Brooklyn's largest chain of newspapers. Brooklyn is also served by the major New York dailies, including The New York Times, The New York Daily News, and The New York Post. The borough is home to the bi-weekly cultural guide The L Magazine and the arts and politics monthly Brooklyn Rail, as well as the arts and cultural quarterly Cabinet. Brooklyn Based is Brooklyn's most highly read email-based newsletter. HelloBrooklyn.com is Brooklyn's largest portal, with more than 10,000 links.
Brooklyn has a thriving ethnic press. El Diario La Prensa, the largest and oldest Spanish-language daily newspaper in the United States, maintains its corporate headquarters at 1 MetroTech Center in downtown Brooklyn. Major ethnic publications include the Brooklyn-Queens Catholic paper The Tablet and Hamodia, an Orthodox Jewish daily. Many nationally distributed ethnic newspapers are based in Brooklyn. Over 60 ethnic groups, writing in 42 languages, publish some 300 non-English language magazines and newspapers in New York City. Among them the quarterly "L'Idea", a bilingual magazine printed in Italian and English since 1974. In addition, many newspapers published abroad, such as The Daily Gleaner and The Star of Jamaica, are available in Brooklyn.
The Brooklyn accent is often portrayed as 'typical New York' in American television and film. The City of New York has an official television station, run by the NYC Media Group, which features programming based in Brooklyn. Brooklyn Community Access Television is the borough's public access channel. BCAT, the Media program of BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn, shares the former Strand Theater, adjoining BAM's Harvey Theater, with the non-profit artists collective atelier and exhibition center, Urban Glass. The facility's upcoming expansion will include a new 250-seat, year-round home for BRIC's annual "Celebrate Brooklyn" performances.
Parks and other attractions
- Prospect Park; is a 585-acre (2.37 km2) (237 ha) public park in central Brooklyn. The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who created Manhattan's Central Park. Attractions include the Long Meadow, a 90 acre (36 ha) meadow, the Picnic House, which houses offices and a hall that can accommodate parties with up to 175 guests; Litchfield Villa, the home of Edwin Clark Litchfield, an early developer of the neighborhood and a former owner of a southern section of the Park; Prospect Park Zoo; a large nature conservancy managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society; the Boathouse, housing a visitors center and the first urban Audubon Center; Brooklyn's only lake, covering 60 acres (24 ha); the Prospect Park Bandshell that hosts free outdoor concerts in the summertime; and various sports and fitness activities including seven baseball fields.
- Brooklyn Botanic Gardens; located adjacent to Prospect Park is the 52-acre (21 ha) botanical garden, which includes a cherry tree esplanade, a one-acre (0.4 ha) rose garden, a Japanese hill and pond garden, a fragrance garden, a water lily pond esplanade, several conservatories, a rock garden, a native flora garden, a bonsai tree collection, and children's gardens and discovery exhibits.
- Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge: a unique Federal wildlife refuge straddling the Brooklyn-Queens border, part of Gateway National Recreation Area
- Floyd Bennett Field; the first municipal airport in New York City and long closed for operatins, is now part of the National Park System. Many of the historic hangars and runways are still extant. A variety of nature trails and diverse habitats are found within the park, including salt marsh and a restored area of shortgrass prairie that was once widespread on the Hempstead Plains.
- Coney Island developed as a playground for the rich in the early 1900s, but it grew as one of America's first amusement grounds and attracted crowds from all over New York. The Cyclone rollercoaster, built in 1927, is on the National Register of Historic Places. The 1920 Wonder Wheel and other rides are still operational at Astroland. Coney Island went into decline in the 1970s, but is currently undergoing a renaissance: the new Luna Park opened in 2010. The annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade is a hipster costume-and-float parade which honored David Byrne, pre-punk music guru, as the head merman in 1998. Coney Island also hosts the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest.
- New York Transit Museum displays historical artifacts of the New York subway, commuter rail and bus systems; it is located in the former IND Court Street subway station in Brooklyn Heights.
- Green-Wood Cemetery, founded by the social reformer Henry Evelyn Pierrepoint in 1838, is both one of the most significant cemeteries in the United States and an expansive green space encompassing 478 acres (190 ha) of rolling hills and dales, several ponds, and a baroque chapel. Still in use, the cemetery is the burial ground of many notable New Yorkers, such as F.A.O. Schwarz (1836–1911), toy store founder; William M. "Boss" Tweed (1823–1878), notorious boss of the New York political machine; and actor Frank Morgan (1890–1949), best known for his portrayal of the title character in the film The Wizard of Oz.
Brooklyn has a storied sports history. It has been home to many famous sports figures such as Vince Lombardi, Mike Tyson, Joe Torre, and Vitas Gerulaitis. Basketball legend Michael Jordan was born in Brooklyn but grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina.
In the earliest days of organized baseball, Brooklyn teams dominated the new game. The second recorded game of baseball was played near what is today Fort Greene Park on October 24, 1845. Brooklyn’s Excelsiors, Atlantics and Eckfords were the leading teams from the mid-1850s through the Civil War, and there were dozens of local teams with neighborhood league play, such as at Mapleton Oval. During this “Brooklyn era,” baseball’s rules evolved into the modern game: the first fastball, first changeup, first batting average, first triple play, first pro baseball player, first enclosed ballpark, first scorecard, first known African-American team, first black championship game, first road trip, first gambling scandal, and first eight pennant winners were all in or from Brooklyn.
Brooklyn's most famous team, the Brooklyn Dodgers, played at Ebbets Field and was named for "trolley dodgers". In 1947 Jackie Robinson was hired by the Dodgers as the first African-American player in Major League Baseball in the modern era. In 1955, the Dodgers, perennial National League pennant winners, won the only World Series for Brooklyn against their rival New York Yankees. The event was marked by mass euphoria and celebrations. Just two years later, the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles. Walter O'Malley, the team's owner at the time, is still vilified, including by Brooklynites too young to remember the Dodgers as Brooklyn's ball club. More recent attempts to bring back the Dodgers have not been successful.
Minor-league soccer arrived in Brooklyn when the Brooklyn Knights relocated from their previous home in Queens to the new Aviator Field complex. It includes a 2,000-seat soccer-specific stadium. The team plays in the USL Premier Development League, at the fourth level of US soccer.
The Eastern Professional Hockey League included a team called the Brooklyn Aces into its inaugural 2008 season membership. After the league folded in 2009, The Brooklyn Aces became the New York Aviators and continued play in the Federal Hockey League. The team plays at Aviator Sports and Recreation.
At one time Brooklyn had many sporting goods manufacturers. Today 5boro, a skateboard company, has a factory in the borough. It is co-owned by Mark Nardelli and Steve Rodriguez.
Brooklyn is well served by public transit. Eighteen New York City Subway lines, including the Franklin Avenue Shuttle, traverse the borough and 92.8% of Brooklyn residents traveling to Manhattan use the subway. Major stations of the 170 in Brooklyn include, Atlantic Avenue – Pacific Street, Broadway Junction, DeKalb Avenue, Jay Street – MetroTech, and Coney Island – Stillwell Avenue.
The public bus network covers the entire borough. There is also daily express bus service into Manhattan. New York's famous yellow cabs also provide transportation in Brooklyn, although they are less numerous in the borough. There are three commuter rail stations in Brooklyn: East New York station, Nostrand Avenue station, and Atlantic Terminal, the terminus of the Atlantic Branch of the Long Island Rail Road. The terminal is located near the Atlantic Avenue – Pacific Street Station, with ten connecting subway services.
The grand majority
of limited-access expressways and
parkways are located in the western and
southern sections of Brooklyn. These
Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, the
Gowanus Expressway, which is part of
the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, the
New York State Route 27, the
Belt Parkway, and the
Jackie Robinson Parkway (formerly
the Interboro Parkway). Planned
expressways that were never built
include the Bushwick Expressway, an
Cross-Brooklyn Expressway, I-878.
Major thoroughfares include,
Atlantic Avenue, Fourth Avenue, 86th
Kings Highway, Bay Parkway,
Linden Boulevard, McGuiness
Pennsylvania Avenue, and
Brooklyn is connected
to Manhattan by three bridges, the
Williamsburg bridges; a vehicular
Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel; and several
subway tunnels. The
Verrazano-Narrows Bridge links
Brooklyn with the more suburban borough
of Staten Island. Though much of its
border is on land, Brooklyn shares
several water crossings with Queens,
Kosciuszko Bridge (part of the
Brooklyn-Queens Expressway), the
Pulaski Bridge, and the JJ Byrne
Memorial Bridge, all of which carry
Newtown Creek, and the
Marine Parkway Bridge connecting
Brooklyn to the
Education in Brooklyn is provided by a vast number of public and private institutions. Public schools in the borough are managed by the New York City Department of Education, the largest public school system.
Brooklyn Technical High School (commonly called Brooklyn Tech), a New York City public high school, is the largest specialized high school for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in the United States. Tech opened in 1922. The school's current location is across the street from Fort Greene Park. It was built from 1930 to 1933 at a cost of $6 million, is 12 stories high, and covers over half a city block. Brooklyn Tech is noted for its famous alumni (including two Nobel Laureates), its academics, and the large number of graduates attending prestigious universities.
Brooklyn College is a senior college of the City University of New York, and was the first public co-ed liberal arts college in New York City. The College ranked in the top 10 nationally for the second consecutive year in Princeton Review’s 2006 guidebook, America’s Best Value Colleges. Many of its students are first and second generation immigrants.
Brooklyn Law School was founded in 1901 and is notable for its diverse student body. Women and African Americans were enrolled in 1909. According to the Leiter Report, a compendium of law school rankings published by Brian Leiter, Brooklyn Law School places 31st nationally for quality of students.
Kingsborough Community College is a junior college in the City University of New York system, located in Manhattan Beach. It was recently named one of the top ten community colleges in the United States by the New York Times.
Long Island University is a private university in Downtown Brooklyn with 6,417 undergraduate students. The Brooklyn campus has strong science and medical technology programs, at the graduate and undergraduate levels.
Founded in 1970, Medgar Evers College is a senior college of the City University of New York, with a mission to develop and maintain high quality, professional, career-oriented undergraduate degree programs in the context of a liberal arts education. The College offers programs both at the baccalaureate and associate degree levels, as well as Adult and Continuing Education classes for Central Brooklyn residents, corporations, government agencies, and community organizations. Medgar Evers College is a few blocks east of Prospect Park in Crown Heights.
Pratt Institute, in Clinton Hill, is one of the leading art, design, and architecture schools in the US. Pratt is a private college with undergraduate and graduate programs ranked among the top ten in the country. Its graduate interior design program is ranked number one by US News and World Reports and by DesignIntelligence. Pratt was ranked among the top design schools by Newsweek and was named the top New York art school by Global Language Monitor. Pratt has over 4700 students, with most at its Brooklyn campus. Graduate programs include library and information science, architecture, and urban planning, as well as numerous art and design programs. Undergraduate programs include virtually all art and design disciplines, architecture, writing, and critical and visual studies, over 25 programs in all. Pratt's contemporary sculpture park was ranked among the top campus art collections by Public Art Review.
Polytechnic University (New York), the United States' second oldest private technological university, founded in 1854, has its main campus in Downtown's MetroTech Center, a commercial, civic and educational redevelopment project of which it was a key sponsor. As of July 2008 it merged with the much larger and wealthier NYU, and is now called Polytechnic Institute of NYU.
St. Francis College is located in Brooklyn Heights and was founded in 1859 by Franciscan friars. Today, there are over 2,400 students attending the small liberal arts college. St. Francis is considered by the New York Times as one of the more diverse colleges, and it has recently been ranked one of the best baccalaureate colleges by both Forbes Magazine and U.S. News and World Report.
SUNY Downstate Medical Center, originally founded as the Long Island College Hospital in 1860, is the oldest hospital-based medical school in the United States. The Medical Center comprises the College of Medicine, College of Health Related Professions, College of Nursing, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and the School of Graduate Studies. The Nobel Prize-winner Dr. Robert F. Furchgott is a member of the faculty. Half of the Medical Center's students are minorities or immigrants. The College of Medicine has the highest percentage of minority students of any medical school in New York State.
Brooklyn Public Library
As an independent system, separate from the New York and Queens public library systems, the Brooklyn Public Library offers thousands of public programs, millions of books, and use of more than 850 free Internet-accessible computers. It also has books and periodicals in all the major languages spoken in Brooklyn, including English, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, Hebrew, and Haitian Kreyol, as well as French, Yiddish, Hindi, Bengali, Polish, Italian, and Arabic. The Central Library is a landmarked building facing Grand Army Plaza and is undergoing extensive renovations and an underground expansion. There are 58 library branches, placing one within a half mile of each Brooklyn resident. In addition to specialized Business Library in Brooklyn Heights, the Library is preparing to construct its new Visual & Performing Arts Library (VPA) in the BAM Cultural District, which will focus on the link between new and emerging arts and technology and house traditional and digital collections. It will provide access and training to arts applications and technologies not widely available to the public. The collections will include the subjects of art, theater, dance, music, film, photography and architecture. A special archive will house the records and history of Brooklyn's arts communities.