Supporting Jews in Transition: Lani Santo, 36 Under 36 Special Edition of The Jewish Week, By Amy Sara Clark

June 1, 2015 – The Jewish Week

When Lani Santo was 13 and living with her Modern Orthodox family in the increasingly black-hat neighborhood of Kew Gardens, her mother came out as gay.

‘œI couldn’t tell anyone or be my authentic self because I had the understanding that everyone was basically the same … even in the Modern Orthodox world,’ she said.

Now, as executive director of Footsteps, an organization that helps Jews leaving black hat and chasidic communities, the experience resonates.

‘œAlthough I didn’t come from a charedi background, I have a firsthand understanding of some of the challenges that a veil of conformity in a community can do to an individual’s self-actualization, becoming who they feel they authentically are,’ said Santo.

Read the full article here.