For Those Trying To Leave Ultra-Orthodox Communities, Courts Can Play Major Role | Robin Young

For Those Trying To Leave Ultra-Orthodox Communities, Courts Can Play Major Role | Robin Young

June 13, 2018 – WBUR

Chavie Weisberger grew up in an ultra-Orthodox Hasidic community in Monsey, New York, where she raised her three children after her 2008 divorce. But as she began questioning her faith and her sexuality, her neighbors told the religious authorities there that she was allowing secular behavior in her home.

Her estranged husband sued for custody and won, in a secular Brooklyn court — it upheld a religious court document she signed at the time of her divorce. Weisberger didn’t realize that in it she’d agreed to raise her children Hasidic.

Ultimately, another court overturned that decision and restored full custody to Weisberger.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young talks with Weisberger (@iamchavie) about the issues faced by Hasidic men and women who leave the community, and is also joined by Lani Santo (@notinabox_ls), executive director of Footsteps, a social services organization that provides social and financial services for those transitioning to a secular lifestyle.

Listen to full interview below or here.

Hasidic ‘defectors’ find challenges, isolation in pursuing a new life | Elizabeth Llorente

June 13, 2018 – Fox News

Part 3: When you are born into the Hasidic Jewish community, you are born a Hasid for life. However, if one does choose to leave the community, they risk being an outcast in not just the Hasidic community but the secular community as well. Three Hasidic Jews who left the community reveal why they made the decision to cut their ties.

This is the last of a three-part series on insular enclaves of ultra-Orthodox Jews, the struggles they face, and the controversies that follow them.

Read the full story here.

Insular Hasidic Jews struggle to preserve customs as legal and social pressures build | Elizabeth Llorente

June 11, 2018 – Fox News

Community in Conflict: Hasidic Jews & Education

Part 1: Some Americans may not realize that Hasidic Jews shun many common secular practices widely accepted across cultural and national borders, including the basics of education. For example, there are several yeshivas, or Hasidic Jewish schools, in the New York area that only teach subjects in Yiddish. Previous yeshiva students share the impact of these practices in their lives.


First of three stories on the inherent tensions between the ultra-Orthodox communities and the legal and social norms in the NYC metro area. Be sure to watch the video above with Naftali Moster of Yaffed.

Read the full story here.