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A Sukkah Is Burning: Remembering Williamsburg's Hasidic Transformation

ISBN: 9781938223310
Publisher: Mill City Press, Inc.
Publication Date: 2012-06-26
Number of pages: 186
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PHILIP FISHMAN grew up in the Brooklyn Jewish neighborhood of Williamsburg during the 1950s, when the community experienced a large influx of Hasidic Jewish refugees from Eastern Europe and the area evolved from a multi-ethnic Jewishly heterodox community similar to Jewish neighborhoods in other parts of New York City into a tightly knit re-invention of an ultra-pious East European shtetl. The culture and values of the new arrivals often conflicted sharply with the older community. The fault lines of this kulturkampf were the context of his childhood-and these memoirs vividly describe the personal, familial, and communal tensions associated with this social transformation. Williamsburg's metamorphosis into an exclusively haredi enclave was the first of its kind in the United States, but this neighborhood's profound makeover, with the associated community discord, was soon echoed in many other American locales and is occurring in many Israeli communities. The post-war transformation of Williamsburg foreshadowed a dramatic and ongoing transformation of American Orthodoxy and-more broadly- American Jewish life in the 21st century.

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