Contemporary Jewry

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 25–54 | Cite as

Holocaust, Hurban, and Haredization: Pilgrimages to Eastern Europe and the Realignment of American Orthodoxy

  • Adam S. Ferziger


The article describes and analyzes the evolution of trips to Poland for post-high school American Orthodox young adults studying in Israel. It contends that beyond exposing the students to aspects of the Holocaust in an unusually visceral and intense manner, these excursions increasingly serve as “pilgrimages of particularistic Orthodox identity.” Indeed, while they are aimed at products of Modern Orthodox homes and schools, over time they have adopted some of the religious stances and celebrated Jewish cultural models that were heretofore more consistent with haredi Orthodox practice and ideals. As such, these voyages offer insight and may even play a role in the process of religious intensification of American Modern Orthodoxy that has been examined from a broader sociological and historical point of view by a number of prominent scholars.


Holocaust Orthodox American Jewry Poland Pilgrimage Israel One Year Programs Haredi 



An initial version of this paper was presented at the international conference: “Echoes of a Century: Jews, Modernism, and the Holocaust,” The University of Texas at Dallas, February, 2008. I am grateful to my colleagues and friends, Professor Judy Baumel-Schwartz, Dr. Shalom Berger, and Dr. Joshua A. Berman, as well as the editors and reviewers of Contemporary Jewry for considering earlier renditions and offering thoughtful comments and suggestions that led to an improved final product.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate Program in Contemporary JewryBar-Ilan UniversityRamat-GanIsrael

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