Footsteps serves men and women who are coming from ultra-Orthodox Jewish backgrounds, including people coming from Hassidic and Yeshivish communities. People who come to Footsteps generally come because they are questioning the beliefs or practices they grew up with and they are looking for a space to explore and to connect with others.
Footsteps primarily works with people coming from Jewish ultra-Orthodox communities, but those coming from other insular religious communities are welcome to call for resources and referrals. There are also events open to non-members. Check our calendar for open events.
English is the spoken language at Footsteps. However, many of our members also speak Yiddish and/or Hebrew. Additionally, we have staff members who speak Yiddish if you don’t know English.
Footsteps Core Values include respect, inclusive community and self-determination. We believe in every individual’s right to create a life of their own choosing, and we believe that individuals should not be isolated for their choices. We do not proselytize or conduct outreach’”we are an organization available for those who need our services. If you have religious beliefs and are questioning some aspects of your belief or practice, you are welcome at Footsteps. To read more about one observant member’s perspectives on Footsteps click here.
Because Footsteps believes in the centrality of individual choice and inclusive community, we strive to have various food options at programs. We have both Kosher and non-Kosher food at events.
Footsteps is legally licensed to only work with individuals 18 and over. Most people that come to Footsteps are in their 20s and 30s, but we also have a growing group of members in their 40s and 50s. If you are younger than 18, you can be in touch with us, but cannot join Footsteps. You can also check out The Door, a youth organization that serves people 21 and younger.
People of all sexual orientations and gender identities are welcome at Footsteps. About 20% of our members identify as LGBTQ. You may additionally want to be in touch with other organizations that serve LGBTQ individuals including:
We take our members’ privacy very seriously. Potential members meet with a staff person before they join Footsteps. We do our best to make sure that your first meeting with Footsteps staff will take place when there are no other members around. All of our members are required to sign a confidentiality form that details our confidentiality policy. Our files are secure, and only accessible to the staff team.
In addition, staff will not share your information with anyone else, without getting your consent first.
However, like most things, there is a risk you are taking by coming to Footsteps. Only you can decide if the risk is worth the benefit.
Footsteps does not offer housing or financial assistance. We are able to connect you to resources provided by New York City or private non-profits. Additionally, the Footsteps network is an incredible community of giving individuals who have taken each other in when members are in tough spots.