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.
How do you relate to your Jewishness after leaving ultra-Orthodoxy? In this 13-part series (one for each month of the Jewish year), Shulem Deen will attempt to answer that question, starting with his discovery that Jews like Theodor Herzl and Sigmund Freud could be just as important as Rashi or the Baal Shem Tov.
Shulem Deen, a former Skverer Hasid, has just published a memoir describing his experience leaving Orthodoxy. He describes what he misses most about his old life — and what he hopes for the future.
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.’
As a young dad in the Skverer sect, Shulem Deen took the one job open to him: teacher. He was shocked to find that punishment was the bedrock of education at the New Square Yeshiva.
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?
People who leave the ultra-Orthodox world have become a social movement. And the stories of their transformations are now a rich literary genre, Ezra Glinter writes.
It’s debatable whether the Satmars have gained the respect of the world. But their rebbe’s ideology of separatism has proven effective at preserving the Hasidic lifestyle — and attire.
‘Division Avenue’ is a play about the battle over bicycles in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg. It’s also about the fight between Hasids and hipsters as gentrification meets the urban shtetl.
What do you do if you’re “a Yid who thinks he’s a Goy”?