Satmar Hasidism: History, Ideology, and Sociology

Miranda Schonbrun

Satmar Hasidism: History, Ideology, and Sociology

October 12, 2021 / 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm / Add to Google

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Menachem Keren-Kratz

With an estimated 120,000 members, Satmar is by far the world’s largest and wealthiest Hasidic court. It is also the most recognizable “brand” associated with Jewish ultra-Orthodoxy in America, with the possible exception of Chabad/Lubavitch. Moreover, Satmar is known for its leaders’ strict anti-Zionist policy and ultra-conservative, anti-modern outlook. Satmar is also the only Jewish group that has established its own town: Palm Tree in Orange County, New York. This lecture explores the court’s history, its unique ideology, and the reasons for its extraordinary prosperity in America, which until the Holocaust, Satmar considered a spiritually corrupted country.

Menachem Keren-Kratz is an independent scholar. In 2009 he completed a PhD in Yiddish literature at Bar Ilan University and in 2013 he received an additional PhD in Jewish history at Tel-Aviv University. His first book was Maramaros-Sziget: Extreme Orthodoxy and Secular Jewish Culture at the Foothills of the Carpathian Mountains (Jerusalem, 2013, in Hebrew). His most recent book is The Zealot: The Satmar Rebbe – Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum (Jerusalem, 2020, in Hebrew). His upcoming book is Zealotry and Piety: Jewish Hungarian Orthodoxy.

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The recording of this event can be found on the Berkeley Center for Jewish Studies YouTube page

Presented by the Berkeley Center for Jewish Studies and the Helen Diller Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies, and cosponsored by the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion