Marriage, leadership, and dynasties in Hasidism: big data approach

Marcin Wodziński, Uriel Gellman, Gadi Sagiv

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Marital strategies are of significant importance in socio-religious movements with dynastic leadership. This article investigates marital strategies among the leaders of Hasidism, arguably the most prominent socio-religious movement of modern Jewry. The study is based on complete documentation records of all marriages by Hasidic leaders from the inception of Hasidism in the 1700s until today: 2,375 marital unions, mostly in 122 dynasties. The data demonstrate a tendency among Hasidic leaders to marry off their children to other Hasidic dynasties, thereby forming a pattern of inter-dynastic connections. We also demonstrate that Hasidic leaders have avoided upward mobility and preferred to marry their children to dynasties with a similar social status. Most importantly, the ultimate gain of such marriages is not material or political gain but rather the maintenance of religious charisma. These findings explain how Hasidic dynasties emerged, expanded, eroded, and negotiated their status within the network of dynasties.

Original languageEnglish
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Eastern Europe
  • Hasidism
  • Judaism
  • charisma
  • dynasties
  • kinship
  • marriage
  • networks


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