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Jews at HomeThe Domestication of Identity$
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Simon J. Bronner

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113461

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113461.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

770 Eastern Parkway: The Rebbe’s Home as Icon

770 Eastern Parkway: The Rebbe’s Home as Icon

(p.163) Five 770 Eastern Parkway: The Rebbe’s Home as Icon
Jews at Home

Gabrielle A. Berlinger

Liverpool University Press

This chapter looks at a reverse transformation — of a secular house front into an icon of hasidic identity. It considers the implications of the house of the seventh leader of the Lubavitch branch of hasidic Judaism, Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson. The house, found at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, was reconstructed and redesigned in locations around the world. Although it blends into its Brooklyn streetscape, rebuilt elsewhere it causes a material cultural ‘resistance’, and therefore draws attention to itself as a sectarian icon for a group enduring some dissonance after the Rebbe's death. The chapter illustrates how Lubavitch Jews have maintained their identity and practice during their growth, and realized the Rebbe's vision of spreading holiness after his death by sanctifying new centres, or ‘Chabad houses’, around the world. It addresses the theme of the role of ‘home’ for Jews, by examining the ways in which Lubavitch conceptions of space, place, and spirituality are sustaining a core identity for Lubavitch Jews in the absence of a living leader.

Keywords:   770 Eastern Parkway, Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson, Lubavitch Jews, Chabad houses, material cultural resistance, hasidic identity

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