Bias and Barriers: Fighting for Custody While Leaving Ultra-Orthodoxy

Bias and Barriers: Fighting for Custody While Leaving Ultra-Orthodoxy

January 19, 2021

Watch “Bias and Barriers”, a virtual conversation hosted by Footsteps about the challenges parents face when they leave insular ultra-Orthodox communities — both in the courtroom and in their communities of origin.

This panel follows up on The New Yorker’s publication of “When One Parent Leaves a Hasidic Community, What Happens to the Kids?”, an article featuring Footsteps and our members’ stories. The issues of divorce, custody, and parental alienation depicted in the article affect so many of our members, a third of whom come to Footsteps as parents in the midst of redefining their relationships with their spouses and children. Watch this panel for a closer look inside the communities and courtrooms at the center of this story.

Moderator: Award-winning author, journalist, and producer Abigail Pogrebin
Panelists: Larissa MacFarquhar, the article’s author and Staff Writer at The New Yorker; Julie F. Kay, Footsteps’ Senior Legal Strategist; and Chani Getter, Footsteps’ Senior Director of Organizational Development.

Unmasked: What COVID-19 Has Revealed About the Journey Out of Orthodoxy

November 19, 2020

What do you do when you leave ultra-Orthodoxy, but you can’t leave it all behind?

For those who maintain a connection with their ultra-Orthodox communities of origin, the journey out has become all the more complex and dangerous. What was already a high-stakes decision is even riskier against the backdrop of a public health and economic crisis.

In this Webinar, Footsteps members share what it means to be caught between two worlds in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. This virtual conversation was moderated by award-winning author and journalist Taffy Brodesser-Akner and features Footsteps members Dr. Schneur Zalman Newfield, author of Degrees of Separation: Identity Formation While Leaving Ultra-Orthodox Judaism and Assistant Professor of Sociology at Borough of Manhattan Community College (CUNY); and Beatrice Weber, speaker, writer, and Interspiritual Minister.

Unorthodox: Real Life Stories

May 14, 2020

Footsteps’ Executive Director, Lani Santo, speaks with Unorthodox cast members and long-time Footsteps members Eli Rosen and Melissa Weisz about their stories of finding freedom and forging their own paths out of ultra-Orthodoxy.

The video begins a few minutes after our formal program started; it opens with Eli answering the first question: “For Esty, leaving was a dramatic move of getting on a plane and flying off to Germany. Did you have a dramatic moment like this where it became clear you needed to leave? Or was it more gradual?”