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David Myers and Nomi Stolzenberg on American Shtetl: The Making of Kiryas Joel, a Hasidic Village in Upstate New York

Thursday, April 20, 2023, 67 p.m.

Law 4-02
150 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10023
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Join us for a hybrid book talk in conversation with Abner Green.

Public attention in recent months has focused on the large Hasidic community in the New York area and the interplay of politics, state funding, and educational standards. This talk will focus on one of the largest and most interesting examples, Kiryas Joel, a legally recognized municipality in suburban New York made up exclusively of Satmar Hasidic Jews. How did the community come into being? How, and why, did it secure recognition as a municipality? What part has education played in its history? And where is this rapidly growing community heading?

About the Speakers
Nomi M. Stolzenberg holds the Nathan and Lilly Shapell Chair at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. She is a legal scholar whose research spans a range of interdisciplinary interests, including law and religion, law and liberalism, law and feminism, law and psychoanalysis, and law and literature. After getting her J.D. at Harvard Law School in 1987 and clerking for the Honorable John Gibbons, chief judge of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, she joined the faculty at the USC Gould School in 1988. There, she helped establish the USC Center for Law, History, and Culture, one of the preeminent centers for the study of law and the humanities. She is the co-author with David N. Myers of American Shtetl: The Making of Kiryas Joel, a Hasidic Village in Upstate New York (Princeton, 2022) and the author of numerous articles on law and religion, including the widely cited “He Drew a Circle That Shut Me Out: Assimilation, Indoctrination, and the Paradox of a Liberal Education,” published in the Harvard Law Review; “Righting the Relationship Between Race and Religion in Law;” and “The Return of Religion: Legal Secularism’s Rise and Fall and Possible Resurrection.” She is spending the 2022-2023 academic year as a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and as a fellow at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where she will be working on a new project on religious exemptions and the theory of “faith-based discrimination.”

David N. Myers is a distinguished professor of history and holds the Sady and Ludwig Kahn Chair in Jewish History at UCLA, where he serves as the director of the UCLA Luskin Center for History and Policy. He also directs the new UCLA Initiative to Study Hate. He is the author or editor of more than 15 books in the field of Jewish history, including American Shtetl: The Making of Kiryas Joel, a Hasidic Village in Upstate New York (Princeton, 2022) with Nomi Stolzenberg. Myers also serves as president of the New Israel Fund.

Abner Greene is the Leonard F. Manning Professor of Law. He specializes in administrative and regulatory law, constitutional law, freedom of speech and the press, law and philosophy, religion and the law, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

This event is co-sponsored with Fordham Law School.

(For 30% off American Shtetl from the Princeton University Press website, use code “SHTL” before June 20.)