How disappointing that Francine Klagsbrun (“Exploring The World Of Chasidim,” Opinion, Oct.10), as she reviews Joseph Berger’s book on American chasidim, is unable to find anything positive to write about the strongest, healthiest and only growing Jewish religious group. Chasidim have the smallest assimilation and intermarriage rates. While the Reform and Conservative movements are being decimated by assimilation and intermarriage, and even the Modern Orthodox have lost thousands, the chasidim, with their insular communities, are vibrant.
I work in a chasidic neighborhood in Monsey, N.Y. Proudly I drive through Monsey and see thousands of modestly dressed women, women waiting for buses saying their morning prayers, people who live with a real trust and belief in God and His presence in their lives, where I must call the married women in my office only by their last names, e.g. Mrs. Katz or Mrs. Weiss, never allowed to be too familiar.
Yes, there is abuse, there is divorce and alcoholism and drugs. But far less than in the non-chasidic world.