On June 23, Deborah Feldman, author of Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots
, joined Israel Bonds Metro New Jersey, Rockland County and Bergen County Women’s Divisions for an intimate discussion, sharing the story of her escape from an ultra-religious community in Brooklyn, New York, which served as the basis of the currently running Netflix miniseries Unorthodox.
Deborah, now living in Berlin with her son, grew up as a member of the Hasidic Satmar group in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, but in 2010, took her son, leaving her husband and all she knew of the Hasidic community behind her, in search of a more secular and less restrictive way of life.
A global Israel Bonds audience of nearly 300 participated in the Zoom conference with Deborah, in which she explained the depth of issues in the ultra-Orthodox community, including Zionism, political emancipation, and enlightenment, and how constricting views led her to the choices she made.
In taking questions following her remarks, Deborah communicated the backlash received from members of her former community, yet stands firm by her decisions and is proud of her accomplishments, affirming, “I’ve made all my dreams come true and more.” Deborah, whose works have been translated into 25 languages, is currently working on her first German-language novel, and takes great pride in knowing that women around the world, particularly in the Middle East and in South America, are viewing the Netflix miniseries in record numbers.
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