Last month, a Brooklyn yeshiva banned Woody Allen-style glasses for being "too goyish" and too "modern," despite the fact that they're Woody Allen-style glasses, for crying out loud. Some rabbis seemed upset by people confusing Hasids for hipsters: there are Tumblrs and Twitter accounts dedicated to the similarities, n+1 had a long article about the communities mingling, and even Jimmy Kimmel has had segments on it. But a group of Hasidim recently decided to make bearded lemonade out of bearded lemons, by starting a charm offensive on those hipsters with a “Unite the Beards” video.
The video, which was made by the Lubavitcher organization 11213.org, was also part of a forum to teach hipsters about the Hasidic lifestyle at Chabad of North Brooklyn this week. According to the Times, it didn't go very successfully: "Maybe it was the lack of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer (or alcohol at all) or special brewed coffee (there was plenty of instant), but the attendance of bearded hipsters was sparse, and possibly nonexistent."
Rabbi Shmuly Lein, who helps run the center, admitted: “It’s true, we did not get any motorcycle hipsters with tattoos and big beards—no over-the-top-looking hipsters.” But in defending the forum, he also posited a riddle for the ages when it comes to futurism consultants and wheat-paste sloganeering: “It depends on what you define as a hipster. Not every hipster has a beard; not every beard has a Hasid.”
We previously asked ultra-conservative Haredi Heshi Fried, owner and creator of the world's most offensive car bumper stickers, about the tenuous relationship between Hipsters and Hasidim around the Williamsburg area: "Everything that happens in this world has a purpose, and one of the reasons the hipsters move around Williamsburg is because many of the hipsters are Jewish and grew up with no Jewish education, and God is giving them an opportunity to connect to observant Judaism. And whether they know it or not, that's what's happening."