Black Hasidic Jews are a minority of a minority of a minority in Crown Heights and elsewhere. In yeshivas, they are sometimes taunted as “monkeys,” according to the New York Times, and are greeted with blank stares at kosher restaurants and synagogues. In Crown Heights, Black Hasidic Jews tried to form a minyan–a quorum of 10 men required for group prayer–but they had a bit of a setback when Yoseph Robinson, a Jamaican, was killed when would-be robbers stormed the kosher liquor store where he worked, leaving only 9.
This is just one of the groups Oprah will talk to in Hasidic Jews of Brooklyn , which documents her visit back in October to the Hasidic Jewish communities of Borough Park and Crown Heights. She got “unprecedented access” to these tight-knit and “mysterious” cultures. The show will document the daily life in these communities, and their intense spiritual devotion, which means that (gasp) they raise their kids without most modern media — no TV, movies, internet or video games.
Highlights: Oprah sits down with a family of 12 for a traditional meal; she interviews Hasidic mothers and wives (a “no holds barred” interview, no less); she gets a tour of a Mikvah; and she meets with what they say is “one of the few black Hasidic Jewish families in the country” (and they are pretty much right, it seems).
Tivo it. It will be broadcast in two parts: Sunday, February 12, from 9:00 – 10:00 p.m., and Monday, February 13, from 10:00 – 11:00 p.m. – via Oprah’s Next Chapter Is EXPANDING! | PerezHilton.com. Photo: COLLive.com – Oprah Seen in Crown Heights (from back in October when they were filming).