web analytics
August 2, 2015 / 17 Av, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


The Evolution Of American Orthodoxy: An Interview with Yeshiva University Librarian Zalman Alpert

Zalman Alpert

Zalman Alpert

All this because of the black power movement?

That, plus the Vietnam War and this whole counterculture movement. The Vietnam War was also responsible for making learning in yeshiva after high school a legitimate option since you suddenly had tons of young men attending yeshivas to avoid the draft. Prior to Vietnam, very few graduates – even of high schools like Torah Vodaath or Chaim Berlin – went on to study in a beis medrash. The war in Vietnam changed that.

The Six-Day War also had a big impact. Jews started coming out of the closets; they were proud to be Jewish now. Finally, the Lubavitcher Rebbe and the ba’al teshuvah movement also played an important role. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people’s lives were affected by the Rebbe’s message.

You mentioned that American Jews used to use their secular names. Did you – especially since “Zalman” sounds so “Jewish”?

I have an English name, but I always went by Zalman.

Did you ever consider dropping Zalman and using your English name?

Not in the last 30 years. But when I was younger, sure.

I was named after both the first Lubavitcher Rebbe and my uncle who was the rosh yeshiva of the Lubavitcher yeshiva in Nevel, Russia until the Soviets closed it in 1929. So there was a pride in whom I was named after, and it was important to me.

Who was your uncle?

Schneur Zalman Alperovitch, but in Lubavitch people refer to him after his hometown: Zalman Kurnitzer, from the town of Kurnitz. He later moved to Leningrad and died of starvation during the Nazi siege of the city.

About the Author: Elliot Resnick is a Jewish Press staff reporter and author of “Movers and Shakers: Sixty Prominent Personalities Speak Their Mind on Tape” (Brenn Books).


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

4 Responses to “The Evolution Of American Orthodoxy: An Interview with Yeshiva University Librarian Zalman Alpert”

  1. Barry Tracy says:

    Zalman, you said it all succinctly. Well done. – Barry (Avraham) at Cadozo Law Library.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is a very interesting interview. Thank you both for taking the time to share with us. I will share it with my fellow librarians!

  3. Jane Trigere says:

    Interesting interview…Thank you for sharing Zalman. Best from the old firehouse in Western Massachusetts.

  4. Amy Mager says:

    Jane Im positive this is a video of you http://624688130?simxoonuihdb it seems your crawling in it??? LMAO who posted it?? looks sad

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Jewish and Muslim bless a crowd of hundreds at a special prayer rally at Gush Etzion junction.
Jews, Arabs Unite to Underline Co-existence in Gush Etzion
Latest Indepth Stories
lahore

I sought a Muslim group that claims to preach a peaceful and accepting posture of Islam, Ahmadiyya

Eishet Chayil

While Orthodox men are encouraged to achieve and celebrated for it, Orthodox women too often are not

Jonathan Pollard.

Jonathan remember, as long as you’re denied your right to come home to Israel you’re still in prison

Inside of the home burned in the Prce Tag attack in the village of Duma.

Reports of a dead baby, a devastated family, and indications of a gloating attacker.

“Yesha” and Binyamin Regional Council leaders said the attack “is not the path of Jews in Judea and Samaria.”

The occasion? The rarely performed mitzvah of pidyon peter chamor: Redemption of a firstborn donkey.

American leftists have a pathological self-inflicted blindness to the dangers of political Islam

Hillary should THANK Trump; By dominating the news he’s overshadowed the implosion of her campaign

Hard to remember when Jewish youth were so hostile to their heritage as they are on campuses today.

Names of the enablers of Iran’s Nuclear weapons will be added next to Hitler’s on the list of infamy

By most accounts, the one person with the political muscle to swing enough Democratic votes to override a veto is Sen. Schumer.

The next day, in a speech in New York to the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Kerry substantially upped the ante.

In Israel, the judiciary has established itself as superior to ALL other branches of the government.

The Fifteenth Day of the month of Av became a day of national rejoicing. The moment that had seemed hopeless became the moment of Redemption.

More Articles from Elliot Resnick
Harvey Rachlin

I think the melodies in our religious services have a haunting sound to them that just permeates your guts and gets into your soul. If you have any musical inclination, I think they inspire you to compose.

Marc Shapiro

In his day, Rav Kook was the greatest writer of haskamot and pretty much everyone in the Lithuanian Torah world wanted his approbation.

But on the human level, public protest played a very central role. And that’s not my position – it’s the position of historians who are experts in this area.

When words lose meaning, the world becomes an Orwellian dystopia; a veritable Tower of Babel

My best book is one that hasn’t been published yet.

Israel is not the only issue that has drawn Jews closer to conservative Christians in recent decades. The culture wars have played a significant role as well.

What books might people be surprised to find on your bookshelves?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/the-evolution-of-american-orthodoxy-an-interview-with-yeshiva-university-librarian-zalman-alpert/2012/07/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: