Fires in the Mirror Historical Context

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Crown Heights is a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, with a black majority, largely from the West Indies, and a Hasidic Jewish minority, making up about 10 percent of the population. The neighborhood includes a large number of undocumented black immigrants, and it is the worldwide capital of the Chabad-Lubavitch branch of Hasidic Judaism. Also known simply as Lubavitch, which means "city of brotherly love" in Russian, this sect is composed of adherents to the strict teachings and customs of Orthodox Judaism. At the time of the riots, the Lubavitcher Grand Rebbe, or spiritual leader, was Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who many Lubavitcher Jews considered to be the Jewish Messiah. Tensions between Jews and blacks in the Crown Heights neighborhood had been running high because of the perception among Lubavitchers that there was a great deal of black anti-Semitism, and because of the perception among blacks that there was...

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This section contains 534 words
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Fires in the Mirror from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.