May 23, 2022 Article in Times of Israel about the tours
It was my great pleasure to have Danielle Ziri from the Times of Israel on the tour this April. She wrote a lovely article about the tour and what drives me to do it. Here’s an excerpt:
Vizel has been giving tours of Hasidic Williamsburg for nine years. She is the only licensed New York City tour guide doing so to date. Born and raised in the Satmar Hasidic community of Kiryas Joel in upstate New York, Vizel is the fifth of 15 children. Some 11 years ago, after getting married and having a son, she decided to leave her community.
But those hoping to hear any judgment of the Hasidic community will leave Vizel’s tour very disappointed. Her goal is simply to educate outsiders about the Hasidic lifestyle and the reasons behind the community’s insular nature.
“I’m not angry at this community,” she makes clear. “I find it to be very unique but it wasn’t for me.”