It’s really a question of: if the NYC Department of Education cares, what can they do? Hasidic groups have a long history of fighting changes to their education, going back to the nineteenth century Europe. As soon as modernity reached Europe, Jewish “reformers” tried to urge the government to intervene with the lifestyle of these “unwordly” Jews and to demand certain...

It's always interesting to watch the rotation of street posters in the streets of Hasidic Williamsburg. You can get a sense off of them what the most zealous members of the Hasidic community are busying themselves with, and you can see if their campaigns create change. Take the posters about smartphones and the internet. They have been everywhere, warning people...

As a tour guide in Hasidic Williamsburg, I've gotten used to being asked this question. The first time I explained how Hasidim are educated - with all emphasis on religious learning - and I got this question, I didn't expect it. Having grown up Hasidic I wasn't used to thinking of education in the strictly vocational way that secular people...

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...

A really interesting first person account of Hasidic Williamsburg, seemingly written by Deborah Feldman (nee Berkovic,) author of NYT Bestselling book Unorthodox. It is a description from an insider’s perspective, although the writing is a better reflection of the style of writing among high school students than of a reliable personal opinion.  Thank you to the former classmate for sharing! Here’s the text: "I know...

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...