Nomi M. Stolzenberg recently delivered the 2023 Gruss Lecture in Talmudic Civil Law, “American Shtetl: The Making of Kiryas Joel: A Hasidic Village in Upstate New York.”
The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School recently hosted the 2023 Caroline Zelaznik Gruss and Joseph S. Gruss Lecture in Talmudic Civil Law, “American Shtetl: The Making of Kiryas Joel: A Hasidic Village in Upstate New York,” featuring the 2022 – 2023 Gruss Professor of Talmudic Law: Nomi M. Stolzenberg, Nathan and Lilly Shapell Chair in Law at USC Gould School of Law.
Settled in the mid-1970s by a small contingent of Hasidic families, Kiryas Joel is an American town with few parallels in Jewish history — but many precedents among religious communities in the United States.
In this year’s Gruss Lecture, Stolzenberg shared the story of how this group of pious, Yiddish-speaking Jews has grown to become a thriving insular enclave and a powerful local government in upstate New York. While rejecting the norms of mainstream American society, Kiryas Joel has been stunningly successful in creating a world apart by using the very instruments of secular political and legal power that it disavows.
Watch the 2023 Gruss Lecture: