Findings & Footnotes

■  The current issue of the Journal of Amish and Plain Anabaptist Studies features an interesting “memoir” by editor Cory Anderson, celebrating and chronicling his and others’ decade-long effort to study and publish about the Amish and other conservative and simply living or “plain” Anabaptists in an academic setting. Anderson discusses trends in Amish/Anabaptist scholarship and communal life, as well as the everyday academic politics and practicalities of publishing a new journal and starting a professional association with its own conferences. He argues that past Amish and Anabaptist scholarship tended toward an “exhibition-popular” style that did not grapple with the advancement of knowledge in this field—publishing pioneering work on Amish agriculture, as well as inviting “plain” people outside of academia to contribute. The new paradigm of Amish and plain Anabaptist studies that the journal envisioned brought forth criticism and debates and a surprising degree of competition and bitter conflict in this field. To download the article, visit:


■  The impact of the pandemic on ultra-orthodox or Haredi Jewish communities, as well as the rapid political transformation of many Haredi groups in the U.S. under the influence of Donald Trump, were enough to lead to the founding of the Haredi Research Group. Made up of 30 scholars from sociology, history and literature, as well as a number of journalists, roughly divided between the U.S. and Israel, the group has already conducted projects and published commentary on changing Haredi demographics, the controversy over Haredi schools and secular educational standards, and popular representations of Haredi life in the entertainment media. Newcomers to the site will be interested in its in-depth general report on the Haredi that includes not only the group’s history and divisions but also overviews of such trends as the Haredi in the suburbs, the crisis and conflicts in many ultra-orthodox communities during the pandemic, the emergence of the “new Haredi” (comprised of young professionals from across the political spectrum), and pro-Trump Haredi. The group’s website is: