My cousin Lou – a traditional Orthodox Jewish retiree from Parsippany, New Jersey – stood with his mouth wide open. Less than a mile from his suburban home a couple hours after Shabbat ended on a recent Saturday night, nearly 800 young Russian-Americans assembled at the Sheraton hotel resort were wildly dancing and singing along to the rousing Yiddish/Russian-punk strains of New York klezmer band Golem.

“I would never have believed a scene of Jewish renewal like this is taking place right around the corner from me,” Lou shouted above the frenzy before getting caught up himself and beginning to clap his hands along to the torridly paced music.


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