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Hasidic Williamsburg: A Contemporary American Hasidic Community
     

Hasidic Williamsburg: A Contemporary American Hasidic Community

by George Kranzler
 

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Hasidic Williamsburg recounts the dramatic emergence of this unique community in the face of major crises. It is the story of the loyalty of its members to their rebbes and their teachings and to the milieu they created in an old Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. Based on his previous book Williamsburg: A Jewish Community in Transition, which reported

Overview

Hasidic Williamsburg recounts the dramatic emergence of this unique community in the face of major crises. It is the story of the loyalty of its members to their rebbes and their teachings and to the milieu they created in an old Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. Based on his previous book Williamsburg: A Jewish Community in Transition, which reported the transformation of this moderately Orthodox Jewish community and its rise to prominence after the influx of numbers of refugees from Nazi persecution and the Holocaust, George Kranzler presents the findings of a decade of research into the survival and life-style of Hasidic Williamsburg as a functioning community. Hasidic Williamsburg portrays the desperate struggle and relentless efforts of its leaders, foremost among them the Rebbe of Satmar and other prominent hasidic rebbes, to stem the progressive disintegration of the Jewish neighborhood. It presents their valiant attempts to provide the vital resources for its survival in the face of persistent poverty and other grave problems and to develop programs that would secure the future of this unique hasidic community. Kranzler concludes with the assertion that at the beginning of the '90s its inhabitants are hopeful of being able to weather the present crisis and to continue to function as one of pluralist America's viable religious communities.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In this thorough and well-documented study, Kranzler builds on his 1961 book, Williamsburg: A Jewish Community in Transition. In his earlier report, he concluded, somewhat pessimistically, that this old Brooklyn Jewish neighborhood might not survive. Now, Kranzler reports that in the three decades since his first study the Hasidic community has stabilized. The author attributes this reversal of fortune to the central role of both observant religious values and the Hasidic ideology. He covers such topics as Jewish residential patterns, efforts at economic revitalization, the role of education, the family structure, and women in the Hasidic community. Kranzler also describes the principal institutions of Satmar Hasidic life. In this way, he both updates and complements Solomon Poll's The Hasidic Community of Williamsburg (1962). Recommended for Judaic studies collections and larger popular collections.-Mark Weber, Kent State Univ. Lib., Ohio

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781568212425
Publisher:
Aronson, Jason Inc.
Publication date:
01/01/1995
Pages:
332
Product dimensions:
6.44(w) x 9.38(h) x 1.14(d)

Meet the Author

George Gershon Kranzler, professor emeritus, received his doctorate from Columbia University. He was a pioneer of Jewish day school education in this country and served as principal of elementary and high schools for over 25 years. From 1966 to 1986 he was professor of sociology at Towson State University and taught at Johns Hopkins University.

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