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American Neo-Hasids in the Land of Israel

Joanna Steinhardt
Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions
Vol. 13, No. 4 (May 2010), pp. 22-42
DOI: 10.1525/nr.2010.13.4.22
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/nr.2010.13.4.22
Page Count: 21
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American Neo-Hasids in the Land of Israel
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Abstract

American Neo-Hasidism in Israel today is part of a sustained revival of traditional Judaism that began in the late 1960s among followers of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, who sought to restore meaning to Jewish practice and identity. This unique religious subculture blends elements of New Age spirituality and American countercultural values with Hasidism, a mystical movement within Judaism dating back to the eighteenth century. The result is a new syncretistic Jewish culture and practice. At two English-speaking yeshivas, one in Jerusalem and the other in Bat Ayin in the West Bank, this Neo-Hasidic subculture exhibits kinship with both the conservative religious culture of Israeli settlers and the countercultural spiritual values of young American Jewish immigrants.

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