As someone who has left the Hasidic community and continues to be fascinated by how much nuance this insular community hides, I'm especially interested in literature that comes from insiders - and often, of course, they will have the bias of those who left. I read this book at about the time of its initial release, but didn't analyze it...

One of my favorite books that describe contemporary Hasidic life -- and probably one of the least known -- is Teacha; Storeis from a Yeshiva. The book only gives us a sliver of a glimpse into the community, through the eyes of Gerry Albarelli, a non-Jew who was hired to be a teacher in the Satmar boy’s school. Albarelli writes...

The book is a compilation of several fictional stories about a few individuals in the ultra-orthodox community. The stories are unoriginal; about a couple meeting through a shidduch, a meddlesome mother in law, a young yeshiva boy who has an affair with a black girl and a middle-aged woman who runs off from the community. The stories are cut up...

Many Jews remember Williamsburg before its Hasidic transformation; when centrist Orthodox and secular Jews were part of the neighborhood landscape. But not many dedicated themselves to recording their memories and preserving the fascinating history of the community as it transformed to a Hasidic community. Philip Fishman is of the few who shared their experiences with the public. His book “A...

Editors: Simon A. Wood and David Harrington Watt Fundamentalism; Perspectives on a Contested History published last month, contains a series of scholarly essays that examine different types of fundamentalist groups in America. I added this book to my bookshelf for its two essays by Shaul Magid, one on Habad and one on Satmar. In the essays, there is a lot of academic jargon...

The book Brooklyn’s Williamsburgh by Brian Merlis goes for a whopping $300-$540 on Amazon. It took some concerted effort to get ahold of it. Luckily, I was able to get it through my college’s interlibrary loan system or I'd be broke by now! The book has an incredible assortment of pictures. Those that have Yiddish jump out to me first. Those that are of places I...

One of my favorite books that describe contemporary Hasidic life -- and probably one of the least known -- is Teacha; Storeis from a Yeshiva. The book only gives us a sliver of a glimpse into the community, through the eyes of Gerry Albarelli, a non-Jew who was hired to be a teacher in the Satmar boy’s school. Albarelli writes...