Measles outbreak tests limits of religious freedom in New York City

By Laura Nahmias, Dan Goldberg, and Amanda Eisenberg

A quick fix to New York City’s measles outbreak is proving elusive, and the reasons are as much political as they are medical.

A powerful voting bloc, the ultra-Orthodox community has managed to carve out what is arguably a separate system of city services with their own ambulances, school buses and police. They run their own private schools for which they receive city, state and federal funds.

That insularity coupled with measles outbreaks in Europe and Israel — two popular destinations for Hasidic Jews — made it only a matter of time before the virus spread out of control.

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