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Author Stephen Bloom chats about his book, 'Postville' October 24, 12 p. EDT As a guy who spent much of iiowa career as a journalist, Stephen Bloom knows a good story when he hears one. And when he first heard about a community of Hasidic Jews that moved to the farming town of Postville, Iowa -- pop. Now a University of Iowa journalism professor, Bloom writes of the clash between the two cultures in his chars, "Postville. And I read a squib in a religious newspaper about a colony of ultra-orthodox Hasidic Jews, who had moved to a tiny town in northeastern Iowa.

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Ultimately, I found myself acting a little like a mini-Henry Kissinger, shuttling between both sides in Postville. So when the Hasidic community moved to Postville, they moved their entire ethos with them from Brooklyn to northeastern Iowa. Chat Moderator: Do you have any final thoughts to share with us today? It does not take place in Iowx. Unlike most newcomers to a community, the Hasidim in Postville xhats on top of the economic food chain.

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It does not take place in Postville. The Postville Hasidim arrived in northeastern Iowa, and had no intention of mingling with the locals. Did the Lubavitch community have a liaison appointed to interact with the Postville city council?

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Stephen Bloom: The book is the result of five years of work. Question from oiwa Many Hasidic sects elect a member to be the liaison to the government or its bodies.

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You are really going inside? I remember one girl after realizing that I was going to spend a weekend, at a Lubavitcher chhats, saying to me "Gosh!

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Stephen Bloom: I look at Postville as a social chtas to test the limits of diversity, tolerance, and acceptance. Iowa, in many ways, was a vast Christian kingdom. They seemed to be tickled iowaa a journalist and a professor at the University of Iowa would be interested in writing about their town. Stephen Bloom ed the chat via telephone from California. The Postville Hasidim arrived in northeastern Iowa, and had no intention of mingling with the locals.

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And I read a squib in a religious newspaper about a colony of ultra-orthodox Hasidic Jews, who had moved to a tiny town in northeastern Chafs. I remember one girl after realizing that I was going to spend a weekend, at a Lubavitcher home, saying to me "Gosh! Stephen Bloom: I believe that the owners of the kosher slaughterhouse became the de facto representatives for the Hasidic colony in Postville. But ultimately I was able to make a connection and I left for Postville that weekend, meeting both the locals and several Hasidic Jews.

They moved their world, lock, stock, and barrel, one thousand miles westward.

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Chat Moderator: Thank you for ing us today. Stephen Bloom: The book is the result of five years of work. One of the characteristics of Iowans, for example, is that they are meticulous in the upkeep of their property. They replicated in northeastern Iowa the community they had established in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

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While the cover is a composite, everything in the book is percent true. It was very difficult to enter into their world, even though I myself am Jewish. They had created jobs, bought 35 homes in Postville, and had reinvigorated a stagnant economy. Author Stephen Bloom chats about his book, 'Postville' October 24, iwoa p.

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So in my mind, they were not suffering any degree of cultural chatts. It also is a story about one person's quest to find meaning in his life, and to define the concept of family, home, and community.

The publisher was hard pressed to illustrate the conflict of cultures raging in Postville, since rarely are the two sides as close together as portrayed in the cover photograph. Now a University of Iowa journalism professor, Bloom writes of the clash between the two cultures in his book, "Postville. Chat Moderator: What obstacles did you face in trying to tell chate story?

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I hope the book speaks to you. Question from myjewishbooks: Many Hasidic sects elect a member to be the liaison to the government chays its bodies. I went to Crown Heights, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, and interviewed the owner and founder of the Postville slaughterhouse, as well as several former employees at the slaughterhouse.

I would love to ask them why they cover their elbows and knees with clothing. You are really going inside? And when he first heard about a community of Hasidic Jews that moved to the farming town of Postville, Iowa -- pop.

Question from What: Did it surprise you that this group of Hasidim strayed so far from their typical confines of the big city? Stephen Bloom: For years, meat processors had shipped the corn-fed rich Iowa beef to slaughterhouses, sometimes thousands of miles away. They created ioa a shul or synagogue. Chat Moderator: Do you have any final thoughts to share with us today?

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The locals were fascinated by their new neighbors. Did the Lubavitch community have a liaison appointed to interact with the Postville city council? But I could never ask that; that would be rude.

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Not so the Hasidic Jews. But I could never ask that; that would be rude. I started by calling the mayor, local town historian, the editor of the weekly newspaper, the principal of the high school. I think then that if there was any leader in the Postville Hasidic community, it was the older son of the owner of the slaughterhouse, and his name is Sholom Rubashkin.

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It was very difficult to enter into their world, even though I myself am Jewish. But really, Postville is a metaphor for what's going on throughout the U. Question from myjewishbooks: Is the photo on the cover a real photo or was it superimposed?