Teaneck, New Jersey: Wikis


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Township of Teaneck, New Jersey
—  Township  —
Map highlighting Teaneck's location within Bergen County. Inset: Bergen County's location within New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Teaneck, New Jersey
Coordinates: 40°53′51″N 74°00′58″W / 40.8975°N 74.01611°W / 40.8975; -74.01611Coordinates: 40°53′51″N 74°00′58″W / 40.8975°N 74.01611°W / 40.8975; -74.01611
Country United States
State New Jersey
County Bergen
Incorporated February 19, 1895
 - Type Council-Manager
 - Mayor Michael "Kevie" Feit
 - Manager William Broughton (effective May 13, 2009)[1][2][3]
 - Total 6.25 sq mi (16.19 km2)
 - Land 6.05 sq mi (15.67 km2)
 - Water 0.20 sq mi (0.52 km2)
Elevation [4] 108 ft (33 m)
Population (2008)[5]
 - Total 38,662
 Density 6,601.6/sq mi (2,475.6/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 07666
Area code(s) 201, 551
FIPS code 34-72360[6][7]
GNIS feature ID 0882227[8]
Website http://www.TeaneckNJ.gov

Teaneck (pronounced /ˈtiːnɛk/) is a township in Bergen County, New Jersey and a suburb in the New York metropolitan area. As of the United States 2000 Census, the township population was 39,260, making it the second-most populous among the 70 municipalities in Bergen County. The Census Bureau's 2008 population estimate for the township was 38,662.[5]

Teaneck was created on February 19, 1895 by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature. Teaneck was formed from portions of Englewood Township and Ridgefield Township, both of which are now defunct (despite existing municipalities with similar names), along with portions of Bogota and Leonia.[9] Independence followed the result of a referendum held on January 14, 1895, in which voters favored incorporation by a 46–7 margin.[10] To assuage the concerns of Englewood Township's leaders, the new municipality was formed as a township, rather than succumbing to the borough craze sweeping across Bergen County at the time.[10] On May 3, 1921, and June 1, 1926, portions of what had been Teaneck were transferred to Overpeck Township.[11]

Teaneck lies at the crossroads of Interstate 95 and the eastern terminus of Interstate 80. It is bisected north and south by Route 4 and east and west by the CSX Transportation West Shore Line. Commercial development is concentrated in four main shopping areas, on Cedar Lane, Teaneck Road, DeGraw Avenue and Queen Anne Road / The Plaza.[12]

Teaneck's location at the crossroads of river, road, train and other geographical features has made it a site of many momentous events across the centuries. After the American defeat at the Battle of Fort Washington, George Washington and the troops of the Continental Army retreated across New Jersey from the British Army, traveling through Teaneck and crossing the Hackensack River at New Bridge Landing, which has since been turned into a state park and historic site commemorating the events of 1776 and of early colonial life. In 1965, Teaneck became the first community in the nation with a white majority to voluntarily desegregate its public schools, after the Board of Education approved the plan by a 7–2 vote on May 13, 1964.[13][14] Teaneck has a diverse population, with large Jewish and African American communities, and growing numbers of Hispanic and Asian residents.[15]



Early history

The origin and meaning of the name "Teaneck" is not known, but speculation is that it could come from various Dutch or English words, or it could be Native American in origin, meaning "the woods".[16] An alternative is from the Dutch "Tiene Neck" meaning "neck where there are willows" (from the Dutch "tene" meaning willow).[11]

When Europeans first entered the area, "Teaneck" referred to the north-south ridge that runs along present-day Queen Anne Road, with Lenni Lenape Native Americans having established camps on either side of the ridge. The Lenape in the area were led by a chief named Oratam, who led a group that lived in a village called Achikinhesacky, on the banks of the Tantaqua (Overpeck Creek), on the eastern slope of Teaneck Ridge near today's Fycke Lane. Conflicts between Europeans and Native Americans continued into the mid-17th century.[17]

The first mention of permanent structures within the boundaries of present-day Teaneck dates to 1704. In subsequent years, houses and farm buildings were built on the west bank of the Hackensack River, along the route of a Native American trail. The neighborhood that grew here came to be known as East Hackensack or New Hackensack. Another small group of Dutch farm houses was constructed along the eastern slope of the Teaneck ridge along modern Teaneck Road. There are several of these early stone houses still standing that date back to Teaneck's 17th and 18th century Dutch farm heritage.[18]

Revolutionary War period

During November of 1776, General George Washington passed through Teaneck during the withdrawal of Colonial forces from nearby Fort Lee on the Hudson River. Early on the morning of November 20, 1776, Washington rode by horseback from his headquarters in Hackensack through Teaneck and across Overpeck Creek to Fort Lee. There he watched as 6,000 British troops made their way by boats up the Hudson River. He had his troops abandon their position on the Palisades. They hastily made their way from their encampment, leaving behind their camp and most of their supplies, traveling across Overpeck Creek and through Teaneck to New Bridge Landing (today's Brett Park). They crossed the bridge, marching barefoot, two abreast, their garments so worn that they were exposed to the cold rain that fell that day. Throughout the war, both British and American forces occupied local homesteads at various times, and Teaneck citizens played key roles on both sides of the conflict.[18]

After the war, Teaneck returned to being a quiet farm community. Fruits and vegetables grown locally were taken by wagon to busy markets in nearby Paterson and New York City. New growth and development were spurred in the mid-1800s by the establishment of railroads throughout the area. Wealthy New Yorkers and others purchased large properties on which they built spacious mansions and manor houses. They traveled daily to work in New York City, thus becoming Teaneck's first suburban commuters.[18]

Phelps Estate

The largest estate built in Teaneck belonged to William Walter Phelps, the son of a wealthy railroad magnate and New York City merchant. In 1865, Phelps arrived in Teaneck and enlarged an old farmhouse into a large Victorian mansion on the site of the present Municipal Government Complex. Phelps' "Englewood Farm" eventually encompassed nearly 2,000 acres (8 km2) of landscaped property within the central part of Teaneck, on which some 600,000 trees were planted.[15] Subsequent development and house construction were focused along the perimeters of the Township, with the central part of the community remaining a large property crisscrossed by roads and trails.

Township formed

The Township of Teaneck was established on February 19, 1895 and was composed of portions of Englewood Township, Ridgefield Township and Bogota. Teaneck's choice to incorporate as a Township was unusual in an era of "Boroughitis," in which a flood of new municipalities were being formed using the Borough form of government.[10]

At a referendum held on January 14, 1895, 46 of 53 voters approved incorporation as a Borough. Citizens of Englewood Township challenged the creation of the borough, but accepted the new municipality as a Township, given its more rural character. A bill supporting the creation of the Township of Teaneck was put through the New Jersey General Assembly on February 18, 1895 and the New Jersey Senate on the next day. Governor of New Jersey George Werts signed the bill into law, and Teaneck was an independent municipality.[10]

At its incorporation, Teaneck's population was 811. William W. Bennett, overseer of the Phelps Estate, was selected as chairman of the first three-man Township Committee, which focused in its early years on "construction of streets and street lamps (originally gaslights), trolley lines (along DeGraw Avenue), telephones and speeding traffic."[19]

Growth in early 20th century

The opening of the Phelps Estate in 1927 led to substantial population growth in subsequent years.[20] The George Washington Bridge was completed in 1931[21] and its connection to Teaneck via Route 4 brought thousands of new home buyers. From 1920 and 1930, Teaneck's population nearly quadrupled, from 4,192 to 16,513.[22]

Rapid growth led to financial turmoil and inefficiencies in the town government resulted in the adoption of a new nonpartisan Council-Manager form of government under the 1923 Municipal Manager Law in a referendum on September 16, 1930. A full-time Town Manager, Paul A. Volcker, Sr. (father of former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Paul A. Volcker, Jr.), was appointed to handle Teaneck's day-to-day business affairs. Volcker's 20-year term, from 1930 to 1950, provided Teaneck with economic stability, zoning and long-term development plans, a paid fire department and civil service for Township employees. It also established a model for future administrations.[23]

After World War II, there was a second major spurt of building and population growth. The African American population in the northeast corner of Teaneck grew substantially starting in the 1960s, accompanied by white flight triggered by blockbusting efforts of township real estate agencies.[24] In 1965, after a long and difficult struggle to address de facto segregation, Teaneck became the first community in the nation where a white majority voted voluntarily for school integration. The sequence of events was the subject of a book titled Triumph in a White Suburb written by Township resident Reginald G. Damerell (1968. New York: William Morrow & Company, Inc.).[25]

As de facto racial segregation increased, so did tensions between residents of the northeast and members the predominantly white male Teaneck Police Department. On the evening of April 10, 1990, the Teaneck Police Department responded to a call from a resident complaining about a teenager with a gun. After an initial confrontation near Bryant School and a subsequent chase, Phillip Pannell, an African American teenager, was shot and killed by Gary Spath, a white Teaneck police officer. Spath said he thought Pannell had a gun and was turning to shoot him. Witnesses said Pannell was unarmed and had been shot in the back. Protest marches, some violent, ensued; most African Americans believed that Pannell had been killed in cold blood, while other residents insisted that Spath had been justified in his actions. Testimony at the trial claimed that Pannell was shot in the back, and that he was carrying a gun. A fully-loaded .22 caliber pistol was recovered from Pannell's jacket pocket. The gun, originally a starter's pistol, had been modified into an operable weapon that was loaded with eight cartridges.[26] Spath was ultimately acquitted on charges of reckless manslaughter in the shooting. Some months after Spath had been cleared, he decided to retire from law enforcement. The incident was an international news event that brought Reverend Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to the community and inspired the 1995 book Color Lines: The Troubled Dreams of Racial Harmony in an American Town, by Mike Kelly.[27]

Teaneck, and the neighboring communities of Bergenfield and New Milford, has drawn a large number of Modern Orthodox Jews who have established at least fourteen synagogues and four yeshivas (three high schools and one for young men).[28][29] It's the functional center of northern New Jersey Orthodox community with nearly twenty kosher shops (restaurants, bakeries and supermarkets).[30] It is within ten minutes' driving time of Yeshiva University in New York City. This community tends to be involved with Religious Zionist causes and offers strong support of Israel.

Historic homes

Zabriskie-Kipp-Cadmus House

Several homes in Teaneck date back to the colonial era or the period after the American Revolutionary War and have been preserved and survive to this day. Teaneck sites on the National Register of Historic Places are:[31]

  • Christian Cole House
  • Adam Vandelinda House
  • Banta-Coe House
  • Brinkerhoff-Demarest House
  • Caspar Westervelt House
  • James Vandelinda House
  • Zabriskie-Kipp-Cadmus House


A view of the Hackensack River taken from the shore in Teaneck

Teaneck is located at 40°53′27″N 74°00′40″W / 40.890964°N 74.011156°W / 40.890964; -74.011156 (40.890964, −74.011156)[32] in the west central portion of Bergen County.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 6.25 square miles (16.19 km2), of which, 6.05 square miles (15.67 km2) is land and 0.20 square miles (0.52 km2) is water (3.20%).[33]

Teaneck is bordered to the west by River Edge and Hackensack which lie across the Hackensack River, to the north by New Milford and Bergenfield, to the east by Englewood and Leonia, and to the south by Ridgefield Park and Bogota.

Teaneck has 24 municipal parks, of which 14 are developed.[34] Overpeck County Park, along the shores of Overpeck Creek, a tributary of the Hackensack River, is more than 8,000 acres (32 km2) in size, of which about 500 were donated by Teaneck, and which is also in portions of Englewood, Leonia, Ridgefield Park and Palisades Park.[35]


Like New York City, Teaneck has a humid subtropical climate according to the Koppen climate classification. The climate in Teaneck is moderated by its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, resulting in cooler summers and warmer winters than inland areas, though this moderating effect isn't as strong as it is in New York City.

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Avg high °F (°C) 37
Avg low temperature °F (°C) 26
Rainfall in. (mm) 3.4
Source: Weatherbase[36]


2000 Census

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 39,260 people, 13,418 households, and 10,076 families residing in the township. The population density was 6,486.2 people per square mile (2,505.5/km2). There were 13,719 housing units at an average density of 2,266.5/sq mi (875.5/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 56.25% White, 28.78% African American, 0.15% Native American, 7.13% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 4.16% from other races, and 3.51% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.45% of the population.

There were 13,418 households out of which 34.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.3% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.9% were non-families. 21.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.86 and the average family size was 3.34.

In the township the population was spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 26.1% from 25 to 44, 25.3% from 45 to 64, and 14.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 89.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.9 males.

According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the township was $89,475, and the median income for a family was $108,167. Males had a median income of $53,327 versus $40,085 for females. The per capita income for the township was $32,212. About 2.4% of families and 4.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.7% of those under age 18 and 6.7% of those age 65 or over.

Ancestry information reported in the 2000 Census reflects the diversity of Teaneck residents, with no single country accounting for more than a small fraction of the population. Residents listed Italian (6.2%), German (6.0%), Russian (5.3%), Irish (5.1%) and Polish (4.2%) as the most common countries of ancestry, and an additional 4.3% listed United States. 6.3% of residents identified themselves as being of West Indian ancestry, of which 3.4% were from Jamaica.[37]

English is spoken by 74.31% of residents. Other languages (accounting for more than 1% of residents) include Spanish (10.53%), Hebrew (2.81%), Tagalog (1.88%), Urdu (1.22%) and Russian (1.11%).[38]

Historical population data

Township of Teaneck[22]

County of Bergen[22]










































































After its founding as a township, Teaneck saw rapid growth in its population during the first half of the 20th century. As Teaneck changed from a sparsely populated rural area into a suburb, particularly after development of property that had been part of the Phelps estate started in the late 1920s, Teaneck's population grew rapidly, far outpacing the growth of Bergen County.

After World War II, the 1950 census showed growth in Teaneck (33.6%) pacing Bergen County overall (31.6%). Starting in 1960, a substantial decline in the rate of growth compared to Bergen County occurred as Teaneck reached the limits of developable land, and the township neared its peak population. Population growth in the 1970 census was small, but positive, with Teaneck reaching its historical maximum of 42,355. Absolute declines in population followed in both the 1980 (−7.9%) and 1990 (−3.0%) data. The 2000 census showed recovery in Teaneck's population to 39,260, though growth (3.8%) was smaller than in Bergen County overall (7.1%)

With almost no land left to develop for housing, Teaneck's population is likely to remain stable for the foreseeable future. A reluctance to permit high-rise development as a means to increase population density also places a limit on growth. Changes in family size are one of the few influences that may affect population over time.


Teaneck has a violent crime rate of 187 incidents per 100,000 people, compared to a rate of 391 in New Jersey as a whole and 596 nationwide. Teaneck's property crime rate is 1860.6 incidents per 100,000 people, compared to an average of 2533.8 in New Jersey and 4296 nationally.[39]

Gang violence hit Teaneck in July 2006 with the death of Ricky Lee Smith, Jr., a teenager shot outside a house party by a member of the Bloods gang who had attended the party. Other gang violence involving the Bloods and Crips has erupted since then. In May 2007, the Chief of Police requested the addition of 14 new officers to Teaneck's existing 98-member police force to establish a gang unit.[40][41] In June, the Township Council approved the hiring of five additional officers at a cost of $500,000 per year, though there are concerns that the gang problem in Teaneck has been "hyped".[42]

Teaneck has received attention in the media due to sexual crimes committed against minors by New Jersey educators. Joseph White, former principal of Teaneck High School pleaded guilty to official child endangerment in June 2006 and was sentenced to one year in prison. White had been charged in 2002 with fondling a 17-year-old student and was subsequently acquitted.[43] James Darden, an award-winning former eighth grade teacher at Thomas Jefferson Middle School, was charged with sexual assault and misconduct in June 2007. He pleaded guilty on December 2007 to a charge of aggravated sexual assault and faces up to 8½ years in prison when sentenced on January 18, 2008.[44]


Major institutions in Teaneck include Holy Name Medical Center and the Metropolitan Campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University, the largest private university in the state[45] The Teaneck Armory is the home of the New Jersey National Guard's 50th Main Support Battalion.[46]

Teaneck has four main commercial districts: Cedar Lane, north Teaneck Road, West Englewood Avenue/The Plaza and Queen Anne Road/DeGraw Avenue.[47] Cedar Lane underwent a $3.9 million Streetscape project, completed in 2006, designed to attract additional business to the area through new sidewalk paving with brick edging, bump outs to allow easier pedestrian crossing, old-fashioned lamp posts and street plantings.[48]

Teaneck's largest single group of commercial ratables is the Glenpointe Centre, completed in the 1980s, which includes a 350-room Marriott hotel and 650,000 square feet (60,000 m2) of Class A office space at the intersection of Interstate 95 and Interstate 80.[49] As of 2007, 150,000 square feet (14,000 m2) of space was vacant, including 100,000 vacated by Eisai Pharmaceuticals earlier in the year.[50]

The Givaudan Fragrances Corp Creative Fragrances Centre, a division of Givaudan, was constructed in 1972 from a design by Der Scutt, architect of the Trump Tower.[51]


Local government

Teaneck Municipal Building

Following its founding in 1895, Teaneck used the traditional Township form of government, led by a three-member Township Committee (later expanded to five seats) elected on a partisan basis. On September 16, 1930, Teaneck residents voted to establish a nonpartisan Council-Manager form of government under the terms of the 1923 Municipal Manager Law, with five members elected concurrently on an at-large basis. In 1962, the Council expanded to its current size of seven members and the position of Deputy Mayor was created. In 1987, a referendum to alter the form to a Faulkner Act Council-Manager form of government was approved, providing for staggered terms for the Council. With this change, Council elections now take place in even years on the second Tuesday in May. The Council's seven members are elected at-large in nonpartisan elections to serve staggered, four-year terms of office. The four seats elected in 2006 will expire in 2010 and the seats of the three who took office in 2008 will expire in 2012, etc.[52][53]

The Township Council serves as Teaneck's governing body. It sets policies and standards and passes ordinances. It adopts an annual budget and approves contracts and agreements for services. The Council appoints the Manager, Clerk, Auditor, Attorney, Magistrate and Assessor. The Council appoints seven members of the Planning Board, the members of the Redevelopment Agency, Board of Adjustment, and all other statutory and advisory boards.

As of 2009 Members of the Teaneck Township Council are:[54][55]

  • Mayor Michael "Kevie" Feit (term ends June 30, 2010)
  • Deputy Mayor Lizette Parker (2010)
  • Adam Gussen (2010)
  • Mohammed Hameeduddin (2012)
  • Monica Honis (2012)
  • Elie Y. Katz (2010)
  • Barbara Ley Toffler (2012)

On May 13, 2008, the Township voted to re-elect Monica Honis to the council (with 2,981 votes). Elnatan Rudolph (2,852) lost his bid for re-election, falling 38 votes behind his running mate. Barbara Toffler (leading the voting with 3,356 votes) and Mohammed Hameeduddin (2,890) were elected and took office on July 1, 2008, filling the seats left by Rudolph and former-mayor Jackie Kates, who did not run for re-election.[56]

On July 1 following a municipal election, the Township Council holds an Organizational Meeting where the candidates elected (or re-elected) to serve on the Council are sworn in and begin their terms of office. The newly-inducted council selects one of its members to serve as Mayor, and another to serve as Deputy Mayor, who presides in the absence of the Mayor.[57]

The Mayor, elected by the Council from among its members after each biennial election, serves for a two-year term of office which expires upon the selection of a mayor at the subsequent reorganization meeting. The Mayor presides over all meetings and votes on every issue as a regular member. The Mayor is a member of the Planning Board and the Library Board. The Mayor appoints the members of the Library Board, and one member of the Planning Board. The Mayor executes bonds, notes, contracts and written obligations of the Township and is empowered by State Law to perform marriages.[57]

The Municipal Manager is appointed by the Council to serve as a full-time professional chief executive officer. The Manager implements Council policies, enforces ordinances and coordinates the activities of all departments and employees and is responsibel for preparing and submitting a budget to the Council. The Manager makes recommendations to the Council on relevant matters, appoints and removes Township employees and investigates and acts on complaints. The Manager appoints the Municipal Courts Prosecutor and Public Defender, members of the Rent Board and one member of the Teaneck Economic Development Corporation, and one member of the Civilian Complaint Review Board.[1]

Federal, state and county representation

Teaneck Main Post Office

Teaneck is part of New Jersey's 37th Legislative District and is in the Ninth Congressional District.[58]

New Jersey's Ninth Congressional District, covering the southern portion of Bergen County and sections of Hudson County and Passaic County, is represented by Steve Rothman (D, Fair Lawn). New Jersey is represented in the Senate by Frank Lautenberg (D, Cliffside Park) and Bob Menendez (D, Hoboken).

For the 2010-2011 Legislative Session, the 37th District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Loretta Weinberg (D, Teaneck) and in the Assembly by Valerie Huttle (D, Englewood) and Gordon M. Johnson (D, Englewood).[59] The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham).[60] The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).[61]

Bergen County's County Executive is Dennis McNerney (D).[62] The executive, along with the seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders administer all county business. As of 2008, Bergen County's Freeholders are Chairman James M. Carroll (D, Demarest), Vice-Chairwoman Julie O'Brien (D, Ramsey), Elizabeth Calabrese (D, Wallington), David L. Ganz (D, Fair Lawn), Bernadette P. McPherson (D, Rutherford), Tomas J. Padilla (D, Park Ridge) and Vernon Walton (D, Englewood).[63]

Other countywide elected officials are Sheriff Leo McGuire (D), Surrogate Court Judge Mike Dressler (D, Cresskill) and County Clerk Kathleen Donovan (R, Rutherford).[64]


As of Election Day, November 4, 2008, there were 23,445 registered voters. Of registered voters, 12,586 (53.7% of all registered voters) were registered as Democrats, 2,198 (9.4%) were registered as Republicans and 8,651 (36.9%) were registered as Undeclared. There were 10 voters registered to other parties.[65]

On the national level, Teaneck leans strongly toward the Democratic Party. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 72% of the vote, defeating Republican John McCain, who received around 27%, with 82% of registered voters participating.[65] In the 2004 election, Democrat John Kerry received 69% of the vote, defeating Republican George W. Bush, who received 30%.[66]


New Jersey has the highest median property tax rates in the United States.[67] Teaneck, situated in Bergen County, the fourth wealthiest county in New Jersey, has among the highest equalized tax rates in New Jersey.

Roughly 60% of a Teaneck property owner's tax goes to support the local school system (ranked 98th out of 104 from lowest to highest cost in per-pupil spending, relative to comparable K–12 school districts in the state).[68] Most of the rest of the property tax (33%) goes to municipal taxes and the remainder (7%) to county services. Much of Teaneck's current cost structure is a result of long-term labor agreements.

The 2006 tax rate was set at $4.64 per $100 of assessed value, which is composed of school taxes of $2.690, municipal taxes of $1.592, county taxes of $0.338, and county and municipal open space taxes of one cent each per $100 of assessed value.[69] A property assessed at the township average of $200,000[70] would pay annual property taxes of $9,280. The average sale price of a single family home in Teaneck during fourth quarter of 2007 was $410,906.[71] The median sale price for a single family home in Teaneck during 2007 was $431,500.[72]

At the April 2006 school elections, voters rejected the proposed $84.8 million budget for the Teaneck Public Schools for the 2006–07 school year by a 1,644 to 1,336 margin. Based on recommendations specified by the Township Council, the Board of Education approved $544,391 in cuts.[73] The school budget was rejected again in 2009, with the Council cutting $1 million from the $94.8 million originally proposed.[74]

During 2006, Teaneck underwent a revaluation of all privately-owned real estate, as required periodically by the state. This revaluation adjusted property values to market prices, ensuring that taxes are equitably allocated. The average property in Teaneck was assessed at approximately $417,900, an increase of 132.1% from the prior year's average. The new valuations took effect for the 2007 tax year.[75]

Teaneck's four fire stations are staffed around the clock by paid full-time fire fighters. Teaneck is one of four municipalities in Bergen County with a paid fire department, joining Englewood, Hackensack and Ridgewood.[76]


Public schools

Teaneck High School

The Teaneck Public Schools serves students in pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade. Schools in the district (with 2005–06 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[77]) include Bryant School, with 345 students in pre-K and Kindergarten; three lower schools serving grades 1–4: Hawthorne School, with 374 students; Lowell School, with 375 students; and Whittier School, with 411 students {Longfellow Elementary school was discontinued in 1998. Other elementary schools that closed prior to 1998 included Emerson and Eugene Field}; two middle schools serving grades 5–8: Benjamin Franklin Middle School, with 611 students, and Thomas Jefferson Middle School, with 690 students; and Teaneck High School, which has an enrollment of 1,460 students in grades 9–12.

The Teaneck Public School spends more per-pupil than all but seven New Jersey school districts. It budgeted spending of $16,087 per student for the 2007–08 school year on a Comparative Cost per Pupil basis (a measure that excludes out-of-district tuition payments, transportation costs and judgments against the school district), 97th highest of the 104 K–12 school districts in the state with more than 3,500 students. This is up more than $2,000 from the $13,928 spent in the 2005–06 school year, an increase of more than 15% over the two-year span. 86% of Teaneck's school funding in the 2007–08 school year came from local property taxes. (The median per-pupil spending in NJ is $12,182, by the Piscataway Township Schools.)[78]

Of the 2007–08 per-pupil allocation, $9,255 goes to classroom instruction (97th highest of K–12 districts in the state with more than 3,500 students), $2,478 to Support Services (84th), $1,566 to Administrative Costs (95th) and $2,359 to Operations and Maintenance (100th). The district's Median Teacher Salary of $66,900 is ranked 92nd in the state in its grouping, while the Median Administrator Salary is $128,245 and ranks 98th.[79]

Teaneck High School had not met the "Adequate Yearly Progress" requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, and was currently classed as "In need of improvement", but was removed in 2006 after scores increased for special-needs students.[80] New Jersey Department of Education's 2007 School Report Card showed that the high school had a graduation rate of 97.1%.[81]

The Teaneck Community Charter School is a charter school that operates independently of the Teaneck Public Schools under a charter granted by the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education. Admission is open to the public for available slots (after returning students and siblings of existing students are entered) and covers kindergarten through eighth grade, with an after school program and summer camp. As the school is a public school, no tuition is charged. Funding comes from the Teaneck Public Schools (and other home districts of non-resident students), which provides 90% of its cost per pupil in the district; the balance of funding comes directly from the state of New Jersey. The school has changed locations from 1650 Palisades Ave to 563 Chestnut Ave in the school year of 2009–2010.[82]

Private and parochial schools

Teaneck is home to the Metropolitan Campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University, which straddles the Hackensack River, in Teaneck and Hackensack. The campus served 4,114 undergraduates and 2,350 graduate students as of the 2007–08 school year.[83]

Private Orthodox Jewish day schools include the Torah Academy of Bergen County (for boys) and Ma'ayanot Yeshiva High School (for girls), both high schools (grades 9–12).

Teaneck was home to the Metropolitan Schechter High School, a co-ed Conservative Jewish high school, which closed its doors in August 2007 due to fundraising problems.[84]

The Al-Ghazaly High School is a co-ed religious day school (grades 7 through 12) primarily serving the Muslim community. Students come from the greater Teaneck area.

The Community School is a private school, founded in 1968 to serve the bright child with learning and attentional disabilities. Both the lower school and high school are in Teaneck.

Public services

The Teaneck Police Department has 99 uniformed officers as of 2008, out of a total of 106 authorized uniformed positions. Robert Wilson was named Chief as of July 2008, filling the acting chief role previously held by Deputy Chief Fred Ahearn, who had been serving in that position since the departure of Paul Tiernan in 2007.[85] The department hired its first two officers in 1914; Freddie Greene, its first African-American officer, joined the department on September 15, 1962, and its first female on January 4, 1981.[86][87]

The Teaneck Fire Department is a career fire department that has 93 uniformed members as of January 2010, out of a total 99 authorized uniformed positions. Robert J. Montgomery was named Chief of Department as of June 1, 2006. The department operates 4 Engine Companies out of four strategically placed firehouses. Additionally, a Tower Ladder, Rescue Truck and Command vehicle responds out of the main Fire Headquarters on Teaneck Road. Reserve apparatus include 2 Engines, a Rescue and a Ladder Truck that can be manned as required during high service demands. The department responds to approximately 4,000 calls per year involving structure fires, vehicle fires, electrical emergencies, natural gas releases, carbon monoxide incidents, explosions, rescues, outside fires,vehicle extrications and first responder medical calls. Past career Fire Chiefs of the department include John Bauer, William Norton, William Hillermeier, Donald Wynne Sr., Carl Anderson, Joseph Murray, William Lindsay Sr. and Joseph Murray Sr.

The Richard Rodda Community Center, located near Route 4 at the south end of Votee Park, is a 50,000-square-foot (4,600 m2) community and recreation center completed in 1998. The facility includes two full sized gyms, a dance studio, a kitchen and several multipurpose rooms of different sizes. The Teaneck Recreation Department offers educational, sports and arts programs throughout the year. The Rodda center is home to the Senior Citizens Service Center, which offers educational and fitness activities for adults ages 55 and up, and serves hot lunch daily, provided by the Bergen County Division of Senior Services.[88]

Arts and culture

The Puffin Foundation and its Puffin Cultural Forum have been leading supporters and producers of art in Teaneck, sponsoring plays and art exhibitions at it location on Puffin Way.[89]

Teaneck is home to the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County, founded in 1953. The Bergen Society is a member organization of the American Ethical Union.[90]

The Teaneck Community Band presents a series of five outdoor summer band concert each summer. The 69th annual series, in 2009, was sponsored by the Puffin Foundation.[88]

The now-defunct Teaneck Cultural Arts Coalition had organized many community-wide cultural events, including an annual First Night community celebration of the arts held for several years through New Year's 2005.[91]

Teaneck New Theatre, founded in 1986, performs productions at St. Mark's Church in Teaneck and at the Hackensack Cultural Arts Center, across the river in Hackensack, New Jersey.[92]

Cedar Lane Cinema is the township's lone movie theater, and hosts live performances on its stage by local performance groups. Teaneck has been the site of many films, including The Family Man, the 2000 film starring Nicolas Cage.[93] The Teaneck Armory has been used for films including Sweet and Lowdown, and for interior scenes of You've Got Mail.[94][95]

In 2007, two non-fiction volumes appeared dealing, inter alia, with Teaneck's Orthodox Jewish community. In Foreskin's Lament, writer Shalom Auslander describes living in Teaneck and finding the Jewish community stifling and claustrophobic.[96] In contrast, Rifka Rosenwein, in Life in the Present Tense, describes the close-knit community as a gift she couldn't imagine when living in Manhattan.[97]


Although licensed to Oakland, a community in Western Bergen County, radio station WVNJ operating at 1160 kHz on the AM dial maintains its studios at 1086 Teaneck Road.[98] WFDU FM-89.1 operates from studios at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and there was a defunct AM Carrier Current version of WFDU on 640 through some time in the 1980s.[99]


The New Jersey Nets NBA pro basketball team were founded as the New Jersey Americans in Teaneck for the 1967–68 season, as charter members of the American Basketball Association. The team played their home games at the Teaneck Armory for that one season, and was scheduled to play a one-game playoff at the armory. However, the circus had been booked for the week, and the game was relocated to a court in Commack, New York that was unplayable, and the game had to be forfeited. After the one season in Teaneck, the team relocated to Long Island and was renamed the New York Nets.[100]

Portions of Fairleigh Dickinson University's Metropolitan Campus are located in Teaneck, with most of the school's athletic facilities are located across the river in Hackensack. The school's University Stadium, home for its men's and women's soccer teams, lies on the Hackensack River, just north of Route 4. The 1,000-seat stadium has hosted NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament games in recent years.[101] The natural grass field was resurfaced with FieldTurf in 2004.[102]

The FDU baseball field is situated between Route 4 and University Stadium. The school received a $1 million bequest from FDU alumnus Vince Naimoli, founding owner of the Tampa Bay Rays, to establish a 500-seat stadium with artificial turf and lighting on the site of the current facility.[103]



Teaneck is situated along a number of major transportation routes, including the northern terminus of the New Jersey Turnpike (a portion of Interstate 95). Teaneck is the eastern terminus of Interstate 80, which stretches over 2,900 miles (4,700 km) west to downtown San Francisco, California.

Route 4 runs east-west through Teaneck, where, unlike all other towns situated along the highway, there is no commercial development. Route 4 narrows from three lanes on the eastbound section between Belle Avenue and Englewood, causing rush-hour traffic backups that may extend all the way back into Hackensack. The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) has discussed a series of proposed replacement projects for bridges over the highway, which could start in 2011, pending completion of feasibility studies and design work. While the township has indicated its willingness to cede space along the Greenbelt for a third lane, the lack of space for a shoulder may preclude the creation of a full three-lane route through Teaneck, due to safety concerns by the NJDOT.[104]

New Jersey's other main trunk route, the Garden State Parkway, can be reached just a few miles west of Teaneck.

Access to New York City is available for motorists across the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee which can be reached by highway via Route 4 or Interstate 95, and (via the Turnpike) through the Lincoln Tunnel in Hudson County into Midtown Manhattan.

Public transportation

New Jersey Transit bus service is available in Teaneck, with frequent service on Teaneck Road, Route 4 and Cedar Lane, and less frequent service on other main streets. NJTransit bus service is offered to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan on the 155, 157, 167, 168 routes; to the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal on the 171, 175, 178, 186 routes; and to other New Jersey communities served on the 751, 753, 755, 756, 772, 780 routes.[105] Scheduled bus service is also available from private companies such as Rockland Coaches to the Port Authority Bus Terminal and George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal, as well as within New Jersey. A number of jitney services provide unscheduled service along Route 4 between Paterson, New Jersey and the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal.

While there is no passenger train operation in Teaneck, train service is available on New Jersey Transit on the Pascack Valley Line at the North Hackensack station (in River Edge) and the Anderson Street station (in Hackensack). This line runs north-south to Hoboken Terminal with connections to the PATH train from the Hoboken PATH station and New Jersey Transit connecting service to Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan via the Secaucus Junction transfer station. Connections are also available at Hoboken Terminal to New York Waterways ferry service to the World Financial Center and other destinations and for the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail system, serving routes along the Hudson River in Hudson County.

Teaneck is split east and west by railroad tracks, which currently provide freight service by CSX Transportation. Until 1959, passenger train service was provided on these same tracks by the West Shore Railroad, with Teaneck stations at Cedar Lane and West Englewood Avenue. Commuter service was available from these stations, with 44 passenger trains operating to and from Weehawken, with ferry service available across the Hudson River to New York City at 42nd Street and at the Financial District in lower Manhattan.[106] Service was also available north along the west shore of the river to Albany. Efforts are continuing to restore passenger train service on this line for the commuters heading into New York City. However, with recent decisions to extend Hudson-Bergen Light Rail service via the Northern Branch to Tenafly, this possibility seems far less likely.

The closest airport in New Jersey with scheduled passenger service is Newark Liberty International Airport, 19.7 miles (31.7 km) away (about 27 minutes) in Newark / Elizabeth.[107] New York City's LaGuardia Airport is 14.7 miles (23.7 km) away in Flushing, Queens via the George Washington Bridge, an estimated 22 minutes (in ideal conditions).[108] John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens is 25.7 miles (and 34 minutes) from Teaneck.[109] Teterboro Airport offers general aviation service, and is a 9.2-mile (14.8 km) drive (about 13 minutes) away.[110]

See also


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  3. ^ Ax, Joseph. "Teaneck hires former police captain as municipal manager", The Record (Bergen County), April 14, 2009.
  4. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographical Names Information System: Teaneck, Geographic Names Information System. Accessed April 12, 2007.
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  6. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
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  13. ^ "Decades of Pride Shattered", The New York Times, April 12, 1990. Accessed September 30, 2009. "And in 1965, the town became the first predominantly white community in the United States to desegregate its schools voluntarily through busing."
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  51. ^ Chadderdon, Lisa. "The Sweet Smell of Success: A building in Teaneck, New Jersey is the source of some of the world's most popular fragrances. Meet Givaudan Roure's perfumers, the 'ghostwriters' behind your favorite scents.", Fast Company (magazine), March 1998. Accessed August 22, 2007. "In fact, more than 30% of the world's fine perfumes for women can be traced to Givaudan Roure – and to an inconspicuous brick building set back from the street in suburban Teaneck, New Jersey. Inside the building, designed by Der Scutt (architect of the Trump Tower) and constructed in 1972, is an environment that fosters creativity."
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