Occasional notices of Jewish Studies research and resources.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
David Myers: “A Hasidic Town in New York? As American as Apple Pie?”
David Myers is professor of Jewish history and chair of the UCLA History Department. He is currently at work with Nomi Stolzenberg (USC) on a book on the Satmar Hasidic community of Kiryas Joel, New York. This project represents a significant departure from his work in the fields of German-Jewish intellectual history, the history of Jewish historiography, and the history of Zionism. In his current work, he is combining historical, ethnographic, and legal approaches to examine the rise to prominence of a self-contained and legally recognized municipality in the State of New York that consists entirely of Hasidic Jews. His research shows that the creation of such a homogeneous shtetl has had few parallels in Jewish history, though it is not nearly so unusual in American history, which has an identifiable tradition of permitting strong forms of religious sub-communities to take root.