Nov 24th, 2013 - Adam J Sacks - Critically Examining the Hasidic Community

Broadcast Date: 
Nov 24 2013

A three segment show around a single theme: critically examining the Hasidic Community of New York. Featuring three broad angles: a. history and religious practices, b. sex abuse scandals and relationship to civic authorities, c. educational deprivation the struggle to leave the community.

 The first segment with Prof Allan Nadler, Director of Jewish Studies at Drew University and author of The Hasidim in America, dove deep into the reaches of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth of the 18th Century to explore why the Hasidic movement raised alarm at its inception. We then fast-forwarded to present day to a pessimistic prognosis for Hasidic-non-Hasidic relations.

Paul Berger of the Forward returned to the show to explore big picture issues behind the sex scandals. How and why do community leaders block reporting to law enforcement, why are so many of the scandals same sex, and what are the economics behind the resistance to bring perpetrators to justice.

With Rachel Berger of Footsteps, we considered the challenges and isolation facing those who leave the community, not to mention the utter lack of college ready scholastic skills. The show closed with the moving personal story of Yossi Schwartz who became a truck driver after leaving the community and still bemoans his elementary reading level in English.