Scholars Nomi Stolzenberg and David Myers will discuss their new book, “American Shtetl: The Making of Kiryas Joel, A Hasidic Village in Upstate New York,” on Thursday, October 20, at 7 p.m., at Rutgers University.
Kiryas Joel was founded in the mid-1970s by a small group of pious Yiddish-speaking chasidic families. It is an American town with few parallels in Jewish history—but many precedents among American religious communities. Using the instruments of secular political and legal power that it rejects, the community has developed into a thriving insular enclave with a powerful local government. Dr. Stolzenberg and Myers paint a nuanced portrait of daily life in the village, exploring its history and how its legal and political battles have bolstered the community.
The talk, part of the 25th anniversary celebration of the Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life at Rutgers University, is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. The talk is made possible through funding from the Sagner Family Foundation and will be held at the Douglass Student Center, 100 George St., in New Brunswick. Advance registration is necessary — go to BildnerCenter.Rutgers.edu. Free parking is available.