Boorey Deutsch can’t keep track of the number of people he knew who died by suicide or overdose this year.
This year, one newcomer stood out on the increasingly crowded shelf of memoirs written by Jews who have left the ultra-Orthodox world. “All Who Go Do Not Return,” by Shulem Deen, distinguishes itself with its mesmerizing lyricism — which is all the more remarkable when you consider that Deen’s rigid upbringing in the insular Skverer Hasidic sect never exposed him to the great works of literature. His was also the first major “off the derech” story to be penned by a man.
Why don’t we see more memoirs by Jews who went from secular to Orthodox? Julie Sugar outlines five worries about writing those stories — and explains why you should do it anyway.
A recent Pew Research Center report reveals that more Jews are joining Orthodoxy than are leaving it. So how come we’re not seeing a counterpoint to all the ‘off the derech’ books flooding the marketplace?
Ysoscher Katz, who left the ultra-Orthodox community, explains why everyone in that world is complicit in Faigy Mayer’s death — and how we can prevent similar tragedies in the future.
Growing up, Shaindy Urman was taught that non-Jews were out to get her, and that her black neighbors were animals. Then she left the Hasidic community.
Ari Mandel left the Hasidic community after being exposed to secular media. Does this mean that to prevent defection the ultra-Orthodox should clamp down on outside influences?
Losing one’s faith can be excruciatingly painful and lonely. Shulem Deen narrates his grim passage from faith to doubt in his riveting new memoir, ‘All Who Go Do Not Return.’
Can those who left ultra-Orthodoxy be convinced to join Modern Orthodoxy instead of leaving the faith altogether? ‘Jew in the City’ blogger Allison Josephs wants to give it a try.
Books by and about Jews who leave Orthodoxy reached a critical mass in 2014. Will readers keep turning the pages of the ex-Hasidic tell all?