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  • Originally published 03/27/2013

    The Modesty Wars: Women and the Hasidim in Brooklyn

    Via Flickr.Originally posted on openDemocracy.Until recently, you could have lived your entire life in the United States and never have bumped into any Jewish Orthodox Hasidim, who live in scattered communities, mostly in the New York’s borough of Brooklyn. In the last few years, however, the media have publicized the Hasidim’s cultural clashes with their non-fundamentalist neighbours. In each instance, the conflict has pitted the Hasidic view of women’s modest traditional dress and their appropriate role in the family, on the streets, and in their community against the sexualized dress and behaviour of their neighbours. 

  • Originally published 03/18/2013

    Saving Schools and Libraries by Giving Up the Land They Sit On

    The Brooklyn Heights library is neither the oldest nor the most dilapidated branch of the Brooklyn Public Library system. But the 52-year-old limestone building is nonetheless ripe for demolition.It sits on land that developers crave, in a fashionable neighborhood where housing is in high demand. And so the library system, desperate for money to pay for $230 million in long-deferred repairs for its 60 branches, has embraced a novel financing model that is increasingly being used around New York City as a way to pay for government services.The library, on Cadman Plaza, along with another library near the Barclays Center, would be sold to developers, torn down and then rebuilt at no public expense on the ground floor of a new apartment tower....

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