Unorthodox

Unorthodox
  • Author : Deborah Feldman
  • Publisher : Simon and Schuster
  • Pages : 272
  • Relase : 2012-10-02
  • ISBN : 9781439187012

Unorthodox Book Review:

Traces the author's upbringing in a Hasidic community in Brooklyn, describing the strict rules that governed her life, arranged marriage at the age of seventeen, and the birth of her son, which led to her plan to leave and forge her own path in life.

Unorthodox

Unorthodox
  • Author : Deborah Feldman
  • Publisher : Simon & Schuster
  • Pages : 272
  • Relase : 2020-03-03
  • ISBN : 9781982148201

Unorthodox Book Review:

Now a Netflix original series! Unorthodox is the bestselling memoir of a young Jewish woman’s escape from a religious sect, in the tradition of Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Infidel and Carolyn Jessop’s Escape, featuring a new epilogue by the author. As a member of the strictly religious Satmar sect of Hasidic Judaism, Deborah Feldman grew up under a code of relentlessly enforced customs governing everything from what she could wear and to whom she could speak to what she was allowed to read. Yet in spite of her repressive upbringing, Deborah grew into an independent-minded young woman whose stolen moments reading about the empowered literary characters of Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott helped her to imagine an alternative way of life among the skyscrapers of Manhattan. Trapped as a teenager in a sexually and emotionally dysfunctional marriage to a man she barely knew, the tension between Deborah’s desires and her responsibilities as a good Satmar girl grew more explosive until she gave birth at nineteen and realized that, regardless of the obstacles, she would have to forge a path—for herself and her son—to happiness and freedom. Remarkable and fascinating, this “sensitive and memorable coming-of-age story” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) is one you won’t be able to put down.

Exodus, Revisited

Exodus, Revisited
  • Author : Deborah Feldman
  • Publisher : Penguin
  • Pages : 368
  • Relase : 2021-08-31
  • ISBN : 9780593185278

Exodus, Revisited Book Review:

The definitive follow-up to Unorthodox (the basis for the award-winning Netflix series)—now updated with more than 50 percent new material—the unforgettable story of what happened in the years after Deborah Feldman left a religious sect in Williamsburg in order to forge her own path in the world. In 2009, at the age of twenty-three, Deborah Feldman packed up her young son and their few possessions and walked away from her insular Hasidic roots. She was determined to find a better life for herself, away from the oppression and isolation of her Satmar upbringing in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. And in Exodus, Revisited she delves into what happened next—taking the reader on a journey that starts with her beginning life anew as a single mother, a religious refugee, and an independent woman in search of a place and a community where she can belong. Originally published in 2014, Deborah has now revisited and significantly expanded her story, and the result is greater insight into her quest to discover herself and the true meaning of home. Travels that start with making her way in New York expand into an exploration of America and eventually lead to trips across Europe to retrace her grandmother’s life during the Holocaust, before she finds a landing place in the unlikeliest of cities. Exodus, Revisited is a deeply moving examination of the nature of memory and generational trauma, and of reconciliation with both yourself and the world.

Exodus

Exodus
  • Author : Deborah Feldman
  • Publisher : Penguin
  • Pages : 304
  • Relase : 2014-03-25
  • ISBN : 9781101603109

Exodus Book Review:

The author of the explosive New York Times bestselling memoir Unorthodox (now a Netflix limited series) chronicles her continuing journey as a single mother, an independent woman, and a religious refugee. In 2009, at the age of twenty-three, Deborah Feldman walked away from the rampant oppression, abuse, and isolation of her Satmar upbringing in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to forge a better life for herself and her young son. Since leaving, Feldman has navigated remarkable experiences: raising her son in the “real” world, finding solace and solitude in a writing career, and searching for love. Culminating in an unforgettable trip across Europe to retrace her grandmother’s life during the Holocaust, Exodus is a deeply moving exploration of the mysterious bonds that tie us to family and religion, the bonds we must sometimes break to find our true selves.

All Who Go Do Not Return

All Who Go Do Not Return
  • Author : Shulem Deen
  • Publisher : Graywolf Press
  • Pages : 288
  • Relase : 2015-03-24
  • ISBN : 9781555973377

All Who Go Do Not Return Book Review:

A moving and revealing exploration of ultra-Orthodox Judaism and one man's loss of faith Shulem Deen was raised to believe that questions are dangerous. As a member of the Skverers, one of the most insular Hasidic sects in the US, he knows little about the outside world—only that it is to be shunned. His marriage at eighteen is arranged and several children soon follow. Deen's first transgression—turning on the radio—is small, but his curiosity leads him to the library, and later the Internet. Soon he begins a feverish inquiry into the tenets of his religious beliefs, until, several years later, his faith unravels entirely. Now a heretic, he fears being discovered and ostracized from the only world he knows. His relationship with his family at stake, he is forced into a life of deception, and begins a long struggle to hold on to those he loves most: his five children. In All Who Go Do Not Return, Deen bravely traces his harrowing loss of faith, while offering an illuminating look at a highly secretive world.

Escape

Escape
  • Author : Carolyn Jessop,Laura Palmer
  • Publisher : Crown
  • Pages : 432
  • Relase : 2007-10-16
  • ISBN : 9780767928472

Escape Book Review:

The dramatic first-person account of life inside an ultra-fundamentalist American religious sect, and one woman’s courageous flight to freedom with her eight children. When she was eighteen years old, Carolyn Jessop was coerced into an arranged marriage with a total stranger: a man thirty-two years her senior. Merril Jessop already had three wives. But arranged plural marriages were an integral part of Carolyn’s heritage: She was born into and raised in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), the radical offshoot of the Mormon Church that had settled in small communities along the Arizona-Utah border. Over the next fifteen years, Carolyn had eight children and withstood her husband’s psychological abuse and the watchful eyes of his other wives who were locked in a constant battle for supremacy. Carolyn’s every move was dictated by her husband’s whims. He decided where she lived and how her children would be treated. He controlled the money she earned as a school teacher. He chose when they had sex; Carolyn could only refuse at her own peril. For in the FLDS, a wife’s compliance with her husband determined how much status both she and her children held in the family. Carolyn was miserable for years and wanted out, but she knew that if she tried to leave and got caught, her children would be taken away from her. No woman in the country had ever escaped from the FLDS and managed to get her children out, too. But in 2003, Carolyn chose freedom over fear and fled her home with her eight children. She had $20 to her name. Escape exposes a world tantamount to a prison camp, created by religious fanatics who, in the name of God, deprive their followers the right to make choices, force women to be totally subservient to men, and brainwash children in church-run schools. Against this background, Carolyn Jessop’s flight takes on an extraordinary, inspiring power. Not only did she manage a daring escape from a brutal environment, she became the first woman ever granted full custody of her children in a contested suit involving the FLDS. And in 2006, her reports to the Utah attorney general on church abuses formed a crucial part of the case that led to the arrest of their notorious leader, Warren Jeffs.

Uncovered

Uncovered
  • Author : Leah Lax
  • Publisher : She Writes Press
  • Pages : 400
  • Relase : 2015-08-28
  • ISBN : 9781631529962

Uncovered Book Review:

Uncovered is the only memoir to tell of a gay woman leaving the hasidic fold. Told in understated, crystalline prose, Leah Lax begins her story as a young teen leaving her secular home to become a hasidic Jew, then plumbs the nuances of her arranged marriage, fundamentalist faith, and hasidic motherhood as, all the while, creative, sexual, and spiritual longings tremble beneath the surface.

Unchosen

Unchosen
  • Author : Hella Winston
  • Publisher : Beacon Press
  • Pages : 218
  • Relase : 2006-11-15
  • ISBN : 9780807036273

Unchosen Book Review:

An exploration of Hasidic Jews struggling to live within their restrictive communities—and, in some cases, to carve out a new life beyond them When Hella Winston began talking with Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn for her doctoral dissertation in sociology, she was surprised to be covertly introduced to Hasidim unhappy with their highly restrictive way of life and sometimes desperately struggling to escape it. Unchosen tells the stories of these “rebel” Hasidim, serious questioners who long for greater personal and intellectual freedom than their communities allow. She meets is Malky Schwartz, who grew up in a Lubavith sect in Brooklyn, and started Footsteps, Inc., an organization that helps ultra-Orthodox Jews who are considering or have already left their community. There is Yossi, a young man who, though deeply attached to the Hasidic culture in which he was raised, longed for a life with fewer restrictions and more tolerance. Yossi's efforts at making such a life, however, were being severely hampered by his fourth grade English and math skills, his profound ignorance of the ways of the outside world, and the looming threat that pursuing his desires would almost certainly lead to rejection by his family and friends. Then she met Dini, a young wife and mother whose decision to deviate even slightly from Hasidic standards of modesty led to threatening phone calls from anonymous men, warning her that she needed to watch the way she was dressing if she wanted to remain a part of the community. Someone else introduced Winston to Steinmetz, a closet bibliophile worked in a small Judaica store in his community and spent his days off anxiously evading discovery in the library of the Conservative Jewish Theological Seminary, whose shelves contain non-Hasidic books he is forbidden to read but nonetheless devours, often several at a sitting. There were others still who had actually made the wrenching decision to leave their communities altogether. In her new Preface, Winston discusses the passionate reactions the book has elicited among Hasidim and non-Hasidim alike. Named one of Publishers Weekly's Ten Best Religion Books of 2005. Honorable Mention in the 2012 Casey Medals for Meritorious Journalism

I Am Forbidden

I Am Forbidden
  • Author : Anouk Markovits
  • Publisher : Bond Street Books
  • Pages : 352
  • Relase : 2012-05-08
  • ISBN : 9780385676748

I Am Forbidden Book Review:

The extraordinary story of a sister who believes and a sister who rebels, set inside the most insular Hasidic sect, the Satmar. Spanning four generations, from pre-World War II Transylvania, to 1960s Paris, to contemporary New York, Markovits' masterful novel shows what happens when unwavering love and unyielding law clash--a rabbi will save himself while his followers perish; a Gentile maid will be commanded to give up the boy she rescued because he is not of her faith; two devoted sisters will be forced apart when one begins to question their religion's ancient doctrine. One sister embraces and finds comfort in the constraints of the world she's always known, while the other knows she will suffocate in a life without intellectual freedom. Separated by the rules of their community, the two sisters are brought together again when a family secret threatens to make pariahs of them all. Dark, powerful, and utterly compelling, I Am Forbidden takes us deep inside the minds of those who leave their restrictive environments, and deep into the souls of those who struggle to stay.

Brazen

Brazen
  • Author : Julia Haart
  • Publisher : Crown
  • Pages : 416
  • Relase : 2022-04-12
  • ISBN : 9780593239179

Brazen Book Review:

WALL STREET JOURNAL AND USA TODAY BESTSELLER • From the star of the Netflix reality series My Unorthodox Life, a riveting, inspiring memoir of one woman’s escape from an extremist religious sect and an extraordinary rise from housewife to shoe designer, to CEO and co-owner of the modeling agency Elite World Group “An irresistible read . . . Written with great intensity and rare candor, Brazen is a story of longing for more and manifesting that vision.”—Tommy Hilfiger Ever since she was a child, every aspect of Julia Haart’s life—what she wore, what she ate, what she thought—was controlled by the dictates of ultra-Orthodox Judaism. At nineteen, after a lifetime spent caring for her seven younger siblings, she was married off to a man she barely knew. For the next twenty-three years, her marriage would rule her life. Eventually, when Haart’s younger daughter, Miriam, started to innocently question why she wasn’t allowed to sing in public, run in shorts, or ride a bike without being covered from neck to knee, Haart reached a breaking point. She knew that if she didn’t find a way to leave, her daughters would be forced into the same unending servitude that had imprisoned her. So Haart created a double life. In the ultra-Orthodox world, clothing has one purpose—to cover the body, head to toe—and giving any thought to one’s appearance beyond that is considered sinful, an affront to God. But when no one was looking, Haart would pore over fashion magazines and sketch designs for the clothes she dreamed about wearing in the world beyond her Orthodox suburb. She started preparing for her escape by educating herself and creating a “freedom” fund. At the age of forty-two, she finally mustered the courage to flee the fundamentalist life that was strangling her soul. Within a week of her escape, Haart founded a shoe brand, and within nine months, she was at Paris Fashion Week. Just a few years later, she was named creative director of La Perla. Soon she would become co-owner and CEO of Elite World Group, and one of the most powerful people in the fashion industry. Along the way, her four children—Batsheva, Shlomo, Miriam, and Aron—have not only accepted but embraced her transformation. Propulsive and unforgettable, Haart’s story is the journey from a world of no to a world of yes, and an inspiration for women everywhere to find their freedom, their purpose, and their voice.

Girl at the End of the World

Girl at the End of the World
  • Author : Elizabeth Esther
  • Publisher : Convergent Books
  • Pages : 224
  • Relase : 2014-03-18
  • ISBN : 9780307731883

Girl at the End of the World Book Review:

I was raised in a homegrown, fundamentalist Christian group—which is just a shorthand way of saying I’m classically trained in apocalyptic stockpiling, street preaching, and the King James Version of the Bible. I know hundreds of obscure nineteenth-century hymns by heart and have such razor sharp “modesty vision” that I can spot a miniskirt a mile away. Verily, verily I say unto thee, none of these highly specialized skills ever got me a job, but at least I’m all set for the end of the world. Selah. A story of mind control, the Apocalypse, and modest attire. Elizabeth Esther grew up in love with Jesus but in fear of daily spankings (to “break her will”). Trained in her family-run church to confess sins real and imagined, she knew her parents loved her and God probably hated her. Not until she was grown and married did she find the courage to attempt the unthinkable. To leave. In her memoir, readers will recognize questions every believer faces: When is spiritual zeal a gift, and when is it a trap? What happens when a pastor holds unchecked sway over his followers? And how can we leave behind the harm inflicted in the name of God without losing God in the process? By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Girl at the End of the World is a story of the lingering effects of spiritual abuse and the growing hope that God can still be good when His people fail. Includes reading group discussion guide and interview with the author

Mazel Tov

Mazel Tov
  • Author : J. S. Margot
  • Publisher : Pushkin Press
  • Pages : 320
  • Relase : 2021-02-23
  • ISBN : 9781782275275

Mazel Tov Book Review:

A heartwarming, funny and provocative memoir of a woman navigating clashing cultures during her decades-long friendship with an Orthodox Jewish family, new in paperback When 20-year-old student J. S. Margot took a tutoring job in 1987, little did she know it would open up an entire world. In the family's Orthodox Jewish household she would encounter endless rules - 'never come on a Friday, never shake hands with a man' - and quirks she had not seen before: tiny tubes on the doorposts, separate fridges for meat and dairy products. Her initial response was puzzlement and occasionally anger, but as she taught the children and fiercely debated with the family, she also began to learn from them. Full of funny misunderstandings and unexpected connections, Mazel Tov is a heartwarming, provocative and disarmingly honest memoir of clashing cultures and unusual friendships - and of how, where adults build walls, sometimes only children can dissolve them.

Sarah Schenirer and the Bais Yaakov Movement

Sarah Schenirer and the Bais Yaakov Movement
  • Author : Naomi Seidman
  • Publisher : Liverpool University Press
  • Pages : 449
  • Relase : 2019-01-31
  • ISBN : 9781789624779

Sarah Schenirer and the Bais Yaakov Movement Book Review:

National Jewish Book Awards 2019 Winner of the Barbara Dobkin Award for Women’s Studies and Finalist for Education and Jewish Identity. Sarah Schenirer is one of the unsung heroes of twentieth-century Orthodox Judaism. The Bais Yaakov schools she founded in interwar Poland had an unparalleled impact on a traditional Jewish society threatened by assimilation and modernity, educating a generation of girls to take an active part in their community. The movement grew at an astonishing pace, expanding to include high schools, teacher seminaries, summer programmes, vocational schools, and youth movements, in Poland and beyond; it continues to flourish throughout the Jewish diaspora. Naomi Seidman explores the movement through the tensions that characterized it, capturing its complexity as a revolution in the name of tradition. She presents the context which led to its founding, examining the impact of socialism, feminism, Zionism, and Polish electoral politics on the process, and recounts its history, from its foundation in interwar Kraków to its near-destruction in the Holocaust, and its role in the reconstruction of Orthodoxy in subsequent decades. A vivid portrait of Schenirer shines through. The book includes selections from her writings published in English for the first time. Her pioneering, determined character remains the subject of debate in a culture that still regards innovation, female initiative, and women’s Torah study with suspicion.

Things We Couldn't Say

Things We Couldn't Say
  • Author : Diet Eman,James Schaap,James C. Schaap
  • Publisher : Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
  • Pages : 392
  • Relase : 1999
  • ISBN : 0802847471

Things We Couldn't Say Book Review:

Diary entries that Diet and Hein logged during the war as well as excerpts from personal letters that passed between the two young lovers detail their thoughts and emotions during those years.

Infidel

Infidel
  • Author : Ayaan Hirsi Ali
  • Publisher : Simon and Schuster
  • Pages : 361
  • Relase : 2008-04-01
  • ISBN : 9780743289696

Infidel Book Review:

The author of The Caged Virgin recounts the story of her life, from her traditional Muslim childhood in Somalia and escape from a forced marriage to her efforts to promote women's rights while surviving numerous threats to her safety. Reprint. 100,000 first printing.

Becoming Un-Orthodox

Becoming Un-Orthodox
  • Author : Lynn Davidman
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press
  • Pages : 304
  • Relase : 2014-10-31
  • ISBN : 9780199380510

Becoming Un-Orthodox Book Review:

Leaving a religion is not merely a matter of losing or rejecting faith. For many, it involves dramatic changes of everyday routines and personal habits. Davidman bases her analysis on in-depth conversations with forty ex-Hasidic individuals. From these conversations emerge accounts of the great fear, angst, and sense of danger that come of leaving a highly bounded enclave community. Many of those interviewed spoke of feeling marginal in their own communities; of strain in their homes due to death, divorce, or their parents' profound religious differences; experienced sexual, physical, or verbal abuse; or expressed an acute awareness of gender inequality, the dissimilar lives of their secular relatives, and forbidden television shows, movies, websites, and books. Becoming Un-Orthodox draws much-needed attention to the vital role of the body and bodily behavior in religious practices. It is through physical rituals and routines that the members of a religion, particularly a highly conservative one, constantly create, perform, and reinforce the culture of the religion. Because of the many observances and daily rituals required by their faith, Hasidic defectors are an exemplary case study for exploring the centrality of the body in shaping, maintaining, and shedding religions. This book provides both a moving narrative of the struggles of Hasidic defectors and a compelling call for greater collective understanding of the complex significance of the body in society.

Rather Laugh Than Cry

Rather Laugh Than Cry
  • Author : Malka Zipora
  • Publisher : Vehicule Press
  • Pages : 212
  • Relase : 2007
  • ISBN : STANFORD:36105123264249

Rather Laugh Than Cry Book Review:

Describes the daily life of a Hassidic women living in an urban area.

Here and There

Here and There
  • Author : Chaya Deitsch
  • Publisher : Schocken
  • Pages : 240
  • Relase : 2015-10-13
  • ISBN : 9780805243185

Here and There Book Review:

A heartfelt and inspiring personal account of a woman raised as a Lubavitcher Hasid who leaves that world without leaving the family that remains within it. Even as a child, Chaya Deitsch felt that she didn’t belong in the Hasidic world into which she’d been born. She spent her teenage years outwardly conforming to but secretly rebelling against the rules that tell you what and when to eat, how to dress, whom you can befriend, and what you must believe. Loving her parents, grandparents, and extended family, Chaya struggled to fit in but instead felt angry, stifled, and frustrated. Upon receiving permission from her bewildered but supportive parents to attend Barnard College, she discovered a wider world in which she could establish an independent identity and fulfill her dream of an unconfined life that would be filled with the secular knowledge and culture that were largely foreign to her friends and relatives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. As she gradually shed the physical and spiritual trappings of Hasidic life, Chaya found herself torn between her desire to be honest with her parents about who she now was and her need to maintain a loving relationship with the family that she still very much wanted to be part of. Eventually, Chaya and her parents came to an understanding that was based on unqualified love and a hard-won but fragile form of acceptance. With honesty, sensitivity, and intelligence, Chaya Deitsch movingly shows us that lives lived differently do not have to be lives lived apart.

The Workout Journal and Roadmap

The Workout Journal and Roadmap
  • Author : Jon Moore
  • Publisher : Castle Point Books
  • Pages : 224
  • Relase : 2018-12-24
  • ISBN : 9781250199775

The Workout Journal and Roadmap Book Review:

A convenient handbook to keep you on track with your fitness goals Not seeing the maximum fitness results you know you can achieve? It’s time to get serious with your most powerful tool: The Workout Journal and Roadmap! With a durable, cleanable cover and convenient spiral binding (lays flat for tracking anywhere!), this handy-size journal is ready to tuck into your gym bag. The Workout Journal and Roadmap will energize your workouts and help you take them to a whole new level. The power lies in recording: • Your training goals—whether it’s more reps or sets with higher weight or going farther and faster with cardio, even flexibility and mobility goals • Where you are right now—from body measurements to workout maxes and bests, so you can clearly see your progress and boost motivation to keep at it • Your performance for each workout—celebrate successes (physical and mental) and troubleshoot anything holding you back • Extra support from nutrition, supplements, and sleep—factors easy to overlook but also critical to reaching your fitness goals Easy-to-use log pages help you capture important workout measures—reps and sets, distance, heart rate, and more—in a strong, portable book. Plus, the simple yet powerful act of recording keeps you focused in each workout and motivated to stick to your overall fitness program. Get ready to see the results you’ve been chasing!

Off the Derech

Off the Derech
  • Author : Ezra Cappell,Jessica Lang
  • Publisher : State University of New York Press
  • Pages : 454
  • Relase : 2020-08-01
  • ISBN : 9781438477268

Off the Derech Book Review:

Combines powerful first-person accounts with incisive scholarly analysis to understand the phenomenon of ultra-Orthodox Jews who leave their insular communities and venture into the wider world. In recent years, many formerly ultra-Orthodox Jews have documented leaving their communities in published stories, films, and memoirs. This movement is often identified as “off the derech” (OTD), or off the path, with the idea that the “path” is paved by Jewish law, rituals, and practices found within their birth communities. This volume tells the powerful stories of people abandoning their religious communities and embarking on uncertain journeys toward new lives and identities within mainstream society. Off the Derech is divided into two parts: stories and analysis. The first includes original selections from contemporary American and global authors writing about their OTD experiences. The second features chapters by scholars representing such diverse fields as literature, history, sociology, psychology, anthropology, religion, and gender studies. The interdisciplinary lenses provide a range of methodologies by which readers can better understand this significant phenomenon within contemporary Jewish society. Ezra Cappell is Professor of Jewish Studies and English at the College of Charleston. He is the author of American Talmud: The Cultural Work of Jewish American Fiction, also published by SUNY Press. Jessica Lang is Professor of English and Director of the Wasserman Jewish Studies Center at Baruch College, City University of New York. She is the author of Textual Silence: Unreadability and the Holocaust.