Resources

Footsteps has collected all the resources on this page to help both those considering leaving Ultra-Orthodoxy and also their family members. Explore here to find articles, videos, cartoons and links to other organizations. These resources are available free of charge to any one.

To see the range of programs we offer for our members, please visit our Programs page.

For Those Leaving

If you want to learn more about what life has been like for those who left ultra-Orthodoxy, there are a lot of resources for you to discover.

Watch Footsteps Members talk about their experiences

Two Footsteppers tell their stories to PBS

Click here to view Sol Feuerwerker and Chani Getter’s stories on PBS.

A Footstepper talks to Katie Couric

Click here to watch Leah Vincent talk with Katie Couric about her experience leaving.

Watch and listen to other stories of formerly ultra-Orthodox individuals

Watch "It Gets Besser"

Watch It Gets Besserindependent interviews with 4 men and women who left Hasidic and Yeshivish backgrounds.

Listen to "The Afterlife" Podcast

Listen to The Afterlife, an independent podcast reflecting on life after leaving Hassidic Judaism.

Read about the experiences of others

Check out "Unpious.com: Voices on the Hassidic Fringe"

Check out Unpious.com: Voices on the Hassidic Fringe, founded by Footsteps Member and Board Member Shulem Deen

 

Look at "Oy Vey Cartoons"

Take a look at Oy Vey Cartoonsby Frieda Vizel

Join OTD Meetup

You may want to join OTD Meetup. Click here to find out more.

In Israel? Visit Hillel: The Right to Choose

If you live in Israel, you can be in touch with Hillel: The Right to Choose.

For Family Members

Is someone you are close to going through a religious transition?

This transition is difficult for the person who is changing their lifestyle and beliefs. But it is also difficult for their family and friends, who may feel that their way of life is being questioned. They may also feel that their friend or family member is making bad choices. They may be scared that they will be distanced from someone they love.

Families do not have to break apart because of differences in belief and observance. Footsteps believes that individuals and families can thrive when they stay together. People that come to Footsteps often have a deep desire to stay close to their families, and we see families make great efforts to stay close.

If someone close to you is going through a change in belief or observance, you can still be available to them. You can listen to how they feel, without judgment. You can offer whatever support is comfortable for you.

For General Interest

We include here some stories about people who have left the ultra-Orthodox community and supporters of Footsteps, written for a general audience.

Read about Footsteps and the issues our members face

Starting a Conversation: A Pioneering Survey of Those Who Have Left the Orthodox Community

An exploration of journeys, practices, beliefs, identity, community and relationships – across Chasidic, Yeshivish and Modern Orthodox Segments, by Nishma Research

Read the full survey report here.

Read "All Who Go Do Not Return" by Shulem Deen

All Who Go Do Not Return by Shulem Deen, Footsteps Member and Board Member. A moving and revealing exploration of Hasidic life, and one man’s struggles with faith, family, and community.

Read "Cut Me Loose" by Leah Vincent

Cut Me Loose: Sin and Salvation After My Ultra-Orthodox Girlhood by Leah Vincent, Footsteps Member.  Vincent shares her harrowing journey after being cast out of her ultra-Orthodox family.

Read "I Am Forbidden" by Anouk Markovits

I Am Forbidden, a novel by Anouk Markovits shares the story of a family is torn apart by fierce belief and private longing in this unprecedented journey deep inside the Satmar Hasidic sect.

Read "Hush" by Judy Brown

Hush by Judy Brown is the story of a young girl who deals with the abuse and cover-up of a close friend in the Hasidic community of Boro Park, Brooklyn.

Read "Unorthodox" by Deborah Feldman

Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots, by Deborah Feldman. A memoir reflecting one woman’s journey out of Satmar Williamsburg.

Read "Unchosen" by Hella Winston

Unchosen: The Hidden Lives of Hasidic Rebels by Hella Winston looks at the lives of people who have left the ultra-Orthodox fold. Winston tells the founding story of Footsteps in Chapter 6.