by Sue Fishkoff, December 26, 2005 – Jewish Telegraphic Agency
Chaim breezes into a diner on the Upper West Side of Manhattan clutching two huge shopping bags.
“I got some clothes, this plaid shirt, two for $5, this leather jacket just $20,” says Chaim, 19, in the clipped, Yiddish-accented English of the Chasidic world he comes from. “I didn’t know what to buy, my roommate went with me, he told me what’s nice,” he says, fingering a sweater gingerly.
Chaim is — or was — a Skver Chasid, born and raised in the fervently Orthodox enclave of New Square, N.Y. His world until recently was Torah, family and a close-knit community.
But now he’s entering the secular world.
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