The “Karlin Youth” course was held in the winter of 2016-17, in Kiryat Sefer. The aim of the course, which is geared towards young Hasidic men, is to acquaint them with methods of Hassidic historical research, through the study of the history of the Karlin Hasidic sect.
The course will deal with a wealth of topics related to the study of history in general, specifically the research of the Hasidic movement. The students’ introduction to history as a scientific and professional field will include discussions on the importance of dealing with history, the development of historical thinking, textual analysis and criticism, collecting and selecting sources, and placing events in the broader historical context. With regard to Hasidic research, the course deals with the challenges that the researcher of Hasidism must face, and the issue of integrating Hasidic research with the academic approach. The coursel attempts to develop the ability to construct Hasidic historiography from a fresh, internal-Hasidic perspective.
The course and its contents are based on a research project about Rabbi Shlomo of Karlin, called “From Lithuania to Galicia,” in the “Ad Henah” Institute. The aforementioned basic discussions of historical and research issues focus on and develop from that project.
The course, which was held once a week on Saturday nights, was attended by 22 young men from the Karlin Hassidic community. It includes 43 meetings, each consisting of two academic hours.