Footsteps has collected all the resources on this page to help both those considering leaving Ultra-Orthodoxy and also their family members. Explore here to find articles, videos, cartoons and links to other organizations. These resources are available free of charge to any one.

To see the range of programs we offer for our members, please visit our Programs page.

For Those Leaving

If you want to learn more about what life has been like for those who left ultra-Orthodoxy, there are a lot of resources for you to discover.

Watch Footsteps Members talk about their experiences

Footsteps Celebrates 2018 Keynote Address

Click here to watch Mindi’s keynote address from Footsteps Celebrates 2018.

Two Footsteppers tell their stories to PBS

Click here to view Sol Feuerwerker and Chani Getter’s stories on PBS.

Watch and listen to other stories of formerly ultra-Orthodox individuals

Resources for those leaving

Off The Derech Facebook Group

Connect with community through the OTD Facebook group.

OTD Manual

Explore resources about leaving the ultra-Orthodox community here.

Additional organizations serving our community:

Join Freidom | NY Metro Area

You may want to join Freidom (formerly known as OTD Meetup). Click here to find out more.

Hillel — The Right to Choose | Israel

If you live in Israel, you can be in touch with Hillel: The Right to Choose.

Out for Change | Israel

If you’re in Israel, connect with Out for Change.

Mavar | UK

Get involved with Mavar in London & Manchester.

GesherEU | UK

Get connected with Gesher in London.

Pathways | Melbourne

Get connected to Pathways in Melbourne.

For Family Members

Is someone you are close to going through a religious transition?

This transition is difficult for the person who is changing their lifestyle and beliefs. But it is also difficult for their family and friends, who may feel that their way of life is being questioned. They may also feel that their friend or family member is making bad choices. They may be scared that they will be distanced from someone they love.

Families do not have to break apart because of differences in belief and observance. Footsteps believes that individuals and families can thrive when they stay together. People that come to Footsteps often have a deep desire to stay close to their families, and we see families make great efforts to stay close.

If someone close to you is going through a change in belief or observance, you can still be available to them. You can listen to how they feel, without judgment. You can offer whatever support is comfortable for you.

For General Interest

We include here some stories about people who have left the ultra-Orthodox community and supporters of Footsteps, written for a general audience.

Read about Footsteps and the issues our members face

Starting a Conversation: A Pioneering Survey of Those Who Have Left the Orthodox Community

An exploration of journeys, practices, beliefs, identity, community and relationships across Chasidic, Yeshivish and Modern Orthodox Segments, by Nishma Research

Read the full survey report here.

Read "Becoming Eve" by Abby Stein

Becoming Eve: My Journey from Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi to Transgender Woman, by Abby Chava Stein, Footsteps Member. This powerful coming-of-age story details Abby Stein’s experience growing up as the next in a dynastic line of Rabbis in an insular Hasidic community in Brooklyn, her journey out of that community, and growing into her identity as a transgender woman.

Read "Degrees of Separation" by Schneur Zalman Newfield

Degrees of Separation: Identity Formation While Leaving Ultra-Orthodox Judaism, by Dr. Schneur Zalman Newfield, Footsteps Member. Dr. Newfield interviews seventy-four Lubavitch and Satmar ultra-Orthodox Hasidic Jews who left their communities about their motivations for leaving, how they make sense of their experiences and their processes of exiting, and their attitudes and opinions regarding their religious upbringing. Degrees of Separation presents a comprehensive portrait of the prolonged state of being “in-between” that characterizes transition out of a totalizing worldview.

Read "All Who Go Do Not Return" by Shulem Deen

All Who Go Do Not Return, by Shulem Deen, former Footsteps Board Member. A moving and revealing exploration of Hasidic life, and one man’s struggles with faith, family, and community.

Read "Cut Me Loose" by Leah Vincent

Cut Me Loose: Sin and Salvation After My Ultra-Orthodox Girlhood, by Leah Vincent, Footsteps Member.  Vincent shares her harrowing journey after being cast out of her ultra-Orthodox family.

Read "I Am Forbidden" by Anouk Markovits

I Am Forbidden, a novel by Anouk Markovits, shares the story of a family that is torn apart by fierce belief and private longing in this unprecedented journey deep inside the Satmar Hasidic sect.

Read "Hush" by Judy Brown

Hush, by Judy Brown. The story of a young girl who deals with the abuse and cover-up of a close friend in the Hasidic community of Boro Park, Brooklyn.

Read "Unorthodox" by Deborah Feldman

Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots, by Deborah Feldman. A memoir reflecting one woman’s journey out of Satmar Williamsburg.

Read "Unchosen" by Hella Winston

Unchosen: The Hidden Lives of Hasidic Rebels by Hella Winston looks at the lives of people who have left the ultra-Orthodox fold. Winston tells the founding story of Footsteps in Chapter 6.

Read "Uncovered" by Leah Lax

Uncovered: How I Left Hasidic Life and Finally Came Home, a memoir by Leah Lax. Lax tells her story–beginning as a young teen who left her liberal, secular home for life as a Hasidic Jew and ending as a forty-something woman who has to abandon the only world she’s known for thirty years in order to achieve personal freedom. The first memoir to tell of a gay woman who spent years in the Hasidic fold, Uncovered is the moving story of Lax’s journey toward finding a home where she truly belongs.