Support at Every Stage

Our members arrive at Footsteps at various stages of their transition from the ultra-Orthodox community to mainstream society. People who arrive at Footsteps may be:

  • questioning the tenets of ultra-Orthodoxy;
  • opposed to entering into an arranged marriage;
  • already married with children;
  • seeking a secular education;
  • out of the community but looking to connect with others like themselves.
  • interested in helping others who are at the beginning stages of leaving ultra-Orthodoxy.

Whether you are considering leaving, already out for a number of years, or somewhere in between, there is a place for you at Footsteps.

Stage 1:
Getting Ready to Leave

The choice to leave is not an easy one. No one else can make the decision for you and only you can decide if the benefits outweigh the risks. However, Footsteps can help you by offering a safe, confidential environment in which to discuss your situation and the potential consequences you face, whether you decide to stay in the community or leave. Our staff provides emotional support while our members can offer you insights into the transition process.

If you want to explore your options, there is a place for you at Footsteps.

Footsteps Suggests:

Stage 2:
Making the Change

For many people, the process of leaving ultra-Orthodoxy takes time. Most people describe a transition phase of 3 to 5 years. During this time, people may continue to live and work in the community while building pathways to the outside world.

During this phase, many of our members: get the psycho-social help they need to make the transition and resolve their internal struggles; go back to school; gain the skills they need to develop a career; move to their own apartments; and begin forging new relationships with others outside of their communities of origin.

Footsteps Suggests:

Stage 3:
Relishing a New Life

During this stage, people tend to settle into their new lives. They have largely made their peace with any losses they have sustained in leaving the ultra-Orthodox community and they are more emotionally, socially, and financially stable. At this stage, many people remain engaged with the Footsteps community, enjoying social events and celebrating one another’s successes. Many of our members in this stage also offer our newer members comfort, guidance, and hope for the future.

Footsteps Suggests:

Stage 4:
Helping Others

Footsteps welcomes people who have been through the transition to stay engaged with the vibrant and growing community of formerly ultra-Orthodox men and women.

We offer peer-to-peer mentorship opportunities, encourage seasoned members to lead workshops and have a member advisory committee.  We have also invited a few long-time members to join our board of directors.  Finally, many of our seasoned members contribute financially to the organization.

Footsteps Suggests: