Hassidic Jew, Brooklyn, NYC

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Member of the Satmar communityof Hassidic Jews, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NYC

So far, all our visits to New york were limited to Manhattan. But this time, we took the MTA train accross the East river,  and went to Brooklyn, to Williamsburg. Very interesting, to the point that we went there again several times, in different sections of the borough.

For the first time, I was able to see these Hassidic Jews in their own community. To see around me the characters of books (Chaim Potok comes to mind), even of a world that I thought had disappeared.

I was very impressed by what I discovered and learned about them. While the members of this particular Satmar community can be somewhat non-welcoming and reserved toward non-members, other groups were very friendly and very open to discussion. This experience and these exchanges with a few people were very interesting and enriching to me.

Satmar is a Hasidic movement composed mostly of Hungarian and Romanian Hasidic Jewish Holocaust survivors and their descendants. It was founded and led by the late Hungarian-born Grand Rebbe Yoel Teitelbaum (1887–1979), who was the rabbi of Satu Mare, Romania. The town’s name in German is Sathmar. Hebrew and Yiddish being their main languages, not all their members speak English.

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