A Fortress in Brooklyn with Nathaniel Deutsch
Stanford's Taube Center for Jewish Studies, The Program on Urban Studies, and the Concentration in Education and Jewish Studies at the Graduate School of Education invite you to a conversation about race and real estate in Brooklyn New York, with Professor Nathaniel Deutsch.
The Hasidic community in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn is famously one of the most separatist, intensely religious, and politically savvy groups of people in the entire United States. Less known is how the community survived in one of the toughest parts of New York City during an era of steep decline, only to later resist and also participate in the unprecedented gentrification of the neighborhood. Join Professor Nathaniel Deutsch for a discussion of his book, "A Fortress in Brooklyn" (Yale University Press, 2021), which unravels the fascinating history of how a group of determined Holocaust survivors encountered, shaped, and sometimes fiercely opposed the urban processes that transformed their gritty neighborhood. By showing how Williamsburg’s Hasidim rejected assimilation while still undergoing distinctive forms of Americanization and racialization, Deutsch and his co-author present both a provocative counter-history of American Jewry and a novel look at how race, real estate, and religion intersected in the creation of a quintessential, and yet deeply misunderstood, New York neighborhood.
About the author:
Nathaniel Deutsch is a professor of history at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he holds the Baumgarten Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies and is Director of The Humanities Institute and the Center for Jewish Studies. He has published award-winning books on Eastern European Jewish culture, eugenics and African American Islam, Gnosticism, and Jewish mysticism, as well as a biography of a Hasidic holy woman. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The New American Haggadah, and many other publications.
In conjunction with Professor Ari Kelman's course, "Understanding Jews," this event is open to Stanford students, staff, faculty, and the public.