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Guide to the Listen to This: Crown Heights Oral History collection 2010.020

Brooklyn Historical Society
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn 11201

Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Brett Dion

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on May 22, 2017
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Container List

Behrman, Michael, 2010 May 26

Biographical / Historical

Michael Behrman was born in Paterson, New Jersey in 1969. In 1976, after traveling and living in a number of different places, Behrman joined the Lubavitch sect of Orthodox Judaism. He made the conscious decision to trade his job in the film industry and home in Manhattan's Greenwich Village for a new life in Brooklyn's Crown Heights. Behrman was the director of a substance abuse prevention program for at-risk youth. At the time of the interview in 2010, he was married with four children and several grandchildren.

Scope and Contents

Michael Behrman briefly describes the circumstances surrounding his religiously-motivated move to the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, documenting some basic details of his earlier, more secular life and career in the motion picture industry. He goes on to describe events such as the 1977 New York City blackout, contrasting it with an earlier power outage in 1965, as well as the 1991 Crown Heights riot. He gives opinions on neighborhood affairs, city politics, theology and morality. Interview conducted by Treverlyn Dehaarte and Alex Kelly.

Conditions Governing Access and Use

Access to the interview is available onsite at the Brooklyn Historical Society's Othmer Library. Use of the oral histories other than for private study, scholarship, or research requires the permission of BHS. For assistance, contact

Subject Names

  • Behrman, Michael
  • Dinkins, David N.
  • Giuliani, Rudolph W.
  • Schneerson, Menachem Mendel

Subject Organizations

  • Congregation Lubavitch (Crown Heights, New York, N.Y.)

Subject Topics

  • African American neighborhoods -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • African Americans -- Relations with Jews
  • Electric power failures -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Hasidim -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Jewish neighborhoods -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Judaism -- Hasidic rite
  • Mayors -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Theology

Subject Places

  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) |x History |y 20th century
  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) |x Religious life and customs
  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) -- Social life and customs -- 20th century
  • Crown Heights (New York, N.Y.)
  • New York (N.Y.)