A Life Apart - Hasidism in America Image Loading...

  • Film Credits
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    Ann Braude, Associate Professor of Religion at Carleton College, is an historian of American Religion who teaches about Hasidism in America. She is currently serving as a consultant for a PBS documentary based on her book: Radical Spirits: Spiritualism and Women's Rights in 19th Century America. Among her publications is the article "Jewish Women in the Twentieth Century: Building a Life in America" for Women and Religion in America.

    Janet Belcove-Shalin has a Phd. in Anthropology and is the Director of Research and Administration at the Center For Public Data Research at the University of Nevada. Her publications include: "Home in Exile: The Hasidim in the New World," part of Hasidim Today: Ethnographic Perspectives on Contemporary Hasidism, a SUNY Press book she is editing; "Becoming more of An Eskimo: Fieldwork Among the Hasidim of Boro Park," an essay in Between Two Worlds (Cornell University Press), edited by Jack Kugelmass; and "The Hasidim of North America: A Review of the Literature" in Persistence and Flexibility (SUNY), edited by Walter Zenner.

    Vincent Crapanzano is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Comparative Literature at the CUNY Graduate Center. His many publications include: Tuhami: A Portrait of a Moroccan, and Waiting: The Whites of South Africa. He has served as consulting editor on the Journal of Ritual Studies and The Psychoanalytic Study of Society among others, as a film consultant on numerous NEH projects including Margaret Mead: An Observer Observed, and for several years on the NEH film board.

    Yaffa Eliach, Professor of Judaic Studies at Brooklyn College has written several books including Hasidic Tales of the Holocaust (Oxford University Press), and The Shtetl of Ejszyszki (forthcoming, Little Brown), about 900 years of life in an Eastern European Shtetl. A historian of the Hasidic movement, she has also conducted extensive oral histories among the Hasidim of New York. She is the founder and director of the Center for Holocaust Studies, which has merged with the New York Museum of Jewish Heritage, whose archives contain one of the most extensive collections of Holocaust oral histories. She received a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship in 1971 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1987.

    Robert Forman, Professor of Religion at Hunter College in New York, is a specialist in comparative mysticism. He is the editor of Religions of the World (Third Edition, St. Martin's) and The Problem of Pure Consciousness (Oxford University Press).

    Faye Ginsberg, Associate Professor of Anthropology, is also Director of the Certificate Program in Ethnographic Film at New York University. Her publications include: as co-editor Uncertain Terms: Negotiating Gender in American Culture and articles such as "The Parallax Effect: Jewish Ethnographic Film" in Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Review and "When the Subject is Women: Ritual Revival In A Syrian Community." Her Masters thesis was "Purity, Power and Pollution: The Revival of Menstrual Rituals in a Jewish Community." She received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1991.

    Arthur Green, Phd. is President of the Reconstructionist College for Judaism in Philadelphia. Among his publications are the books: Your Word is Fire: The Hasidic Masters on Contemplative Prayer and Tormented Master: A Life of Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav. He serves on the editorial boards of Religion in Intellectual Life and the Center for Jewish-Christian Studies and Relations.

    Lis Harris is a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine. Her 1985 book Holy Days: The World of a Hasidic Family is about life in a Lubavitch household. She received the Premio Giornalistico Speciale il Palio di Sienna (Intl. Journalistic Competition, First Prize) and a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship in 1991. In 1989-91 she was a visiting Lecturer at Wesleyan University.

    Samuel Heilman is Professor of Sociology at Queens College in New York. His books include The Gate Behind the Wall: A Pilgrimage to Jerusalem, one of several works about the ultra-Orthodox in Israel. He is a contributor to the Fundamentalism Project at the University of Chicago and co-author of "Religious Fundamentalism and Religious Jews: The Case of the Haredim" in the recent book Fundamentalisms Observed (Chicago).

    Gershon David Hundert, Professor of History and Judaica at McGill University, edited Essential Papers on Hasidism: Origins to the Present. Among the papers he has given is "Somersaults and Scandal: The Role of Rebbe Abraham Kalisker in the First Bans against the Hasidim in 1772."

    Ellen Koskoff, Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Rochester, has studied the often overlooked role of women in Hasidic life. While researching her doctoral dissertation, "The Concept of Nigun (Melody) Among the Lubavitcher Hasidim in the United States", she lived with a group of Lubavitch Hasidic women in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. Other publications include "The Sound of a Woman's Voice: Gender and Music in an American Hasidic Community" and "Both and In Between: Women's Musical Roles in Ritual Life."

    George Kranzler is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Towson State University. His publications include: Williamsburg: A Jewish Community in Transition and The Face of Faith: An American Hasidic Community.

    Jack Kugelmass, Professor of Anthropology and Folklore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was formerly Associate Dean and Faculty of the Max Weinreich Center for Advanced Jewish Studies, YIVO. He was awarded an NEH grant in 1991 for Telling Tales, a summer institute on folk narrative and the humanities. He was writer, researcher, and Associate Producer of the BBC film The Miracle of Intervale Avenue, based on his book of the same title. He edited Between Two Worlds: Ethnographic Essays on American Jewry, which includes his article exploring Hasidism's re-establishment in America since World War II, and wrote From A Ruined Garden: The Memorial Book of Polish Jewry.

    Eli Lederhandler, Lecturer at the Institute of Contemporary Jewry at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, was visiting Assistant Professor of Religion at Vassar College in 1991. His specialty is Eastern European Jewish history. Among his publications is The Road to Modern Jewish Politics, winner of the National Jewish Book Award.

    Martin Marty, Professor of the History of Modern Christianity at the University of Chicago, is the Director of the Benton Fundamentalism Project and the author of several books including Protestantism in the United States: Righteous Empire, Modern American Religion and Pilgrims in Their Own Land. He is also co-editor of the recently published Fundamentalisms Observed.

    Velvel Pasternak, a Hasidic ethnomusicologist, is President of Tara Publications, the world's largest publisher of Hasidic music and books about Jewish music. A graduate of Yeshiva University and Julliard School of Music, he was Music Director of the Brandeis Bardin Institute from 1977 to 1985. Mr. Pasternak is the author of a two-volume work, Songs of the Chasidim.

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