Lecture on KJ draws large crowd


Hull, right, listens to a question from Anagnostakis  (photo: Jim Lennon)

HIGHLAND FALLS – Town of Warwick Town Historian Richard Hull, a professor at New York University, gave another free community lecture, sponsored by Orange County Democratic Women, on Hasidim in Orange County.  Titled “A Village Apart – The Satmar of Kiryas Joel: A Historical and Cultural Perspective” the over two-hour lecture at the Town of Woodbury Senior Center in Highland Mills, was well-attended.

The lecture was both academic and scholarly in nature and was devoid of any political, partisan or religious agenda. It emphasized the origin, history, trials, tribulations and religious and social traditions of the Satmar Sect of Judaism from its inception in Central Europe, immigration to the NYC Borough of Brooklyn, and finally its expansion into Orange County and attempts to expand further north.

Professor Hull’s lecture, which was extremely well attended, drew a crowd of over 200, including a sprinkling of local and county political figures.
Orange County Legislator Michael Anagnostakis who addressed the attendees relative their fears about what both they, and Professor Hull, described as Kiryas Joel’s apparent insatiable need for expansion and water.

During the lecture, Professor Hull addressed all pertinent issues such as population growth, rates of educational disability and handicap, poverty, and the self-imposed isolation of the very insular Satmar/KJ culture. 
He posed the question, “could they survive or will they implode?”

Anagnostakis said the question really is, “can Orange County survive KJ”.

Professor Hull is the author of “Jews and Judaism in Africa”, has published numerous articles in academic peer reviewed journeys, holds 4 excellence in teaching awards from NYU, and he was 2013 Warwick Citizen of the Year.

Popular Stories