To the Ex-Haredim Who Can't Find a Place In The Orthodox World

To the Ex-Haredim Who Can’t Find a Place In The Orthodox World

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There is a story told about the late rabbi and physicist Aryeh Kaplan: As a teenager he began to explore Orthodox Judaism and spent a short time in yeshiva. After his brief stint, he wasn’t so convinced that observant life was for him, so he decided to leave. But he was a bit nervous as to how his peers would react when he told them the news. However, when he informed his roommate about his decision, his roommate didn’t argue with him or try to sway him at all. Instead, he offered to wake up early the next morning to help him carry his bags to the bus stop.

When Rabbi Kaplan saw his roommate’s magnanimous reaction, he was deeply touched and decided that maybe there was something to this Torah way of life after all. He decided to stay in yeshiva and went on to become a prolific writer and world class Torah educator and scholar. The story of Aryeh Kaplan’s roommate exemplifies how religious Jews ought to conduct themselves. Unfortunately, not all of us always live up to these standards.

A couple years ago, I was contacted by an ex-Orthodox man who had both witnessed sex abuse and had been molested himself, but his community was in denial about the issue and kept trying to sweep his claims under the rug. One day he decided he had had enough. He threw his black hat in the garbage and moved far away, leaving observance behind.

A few years later, he felt a pull to come back and give mitzvos a try again. So he went to his local modern Orthodox shul for Shabbos. He figured they’d have more progressive views on how to handle abuse than the community which he had come from (a seclusive part of the ultra-Orthodox world). He also hoped that by just showing up he’d get a “Good Shabbos” and a “Do you have anywhere to eat?” from his fellow congregants. But instead everyone ignored him for several weeks in a row until eventually he stopped going to shul again.

And as much as he resented his own community for their shortcomings on abuse handling, he told me they’d never just leave a single guy alone at shul. They’d invite him both for meals AND insist he stay over to sleep. Despite his anger, he couldn’t deny how exemplary his Haredi community was in terms of heimisheness (warmth) and hachnasis orchim (hospitality).

His story was so distressing to me because each group had failed him in a different way. In truth every single Orthodox Jewish community has unique areas where they excel and unique areas where they fall short, and ideally we should all try to learn from each other communities’ strengths and do our best to minimize our own communities’ weaknesses while living peacefully and respectfully with one another.

Some people decide at some point in their lives that the Orthodox community in which they were raised in is not the best fit for them and so sometimes modern Orthodox Jews will move to the right becoming yeshivish, Lubavitch and or even Hasidic. So too, some ultra-Orthodox Jews decide to to move to the left to more modern or centrist Orthodox communities.

I met such a couple over a year ago when I spoke in Rockland county. This couple had been raised in one of the strictest Hasidic sects and did not feel that they could remain in it anymore. Unfortunately, their families had rejected them when they expressed their desire to move to a less strict Orthodox community. They came up to me at the end of my talk and said “We still want to be frum, we just don’t know how to outside of our old community. We don’t know who to follow.”

I once again was deeply troubled – both by how they had been rejected by their families and with how they were stuck religiously with no where to go. They left before I could get their contact info and despite my attempts to locate them, no one was able to put me in touch with them. So I started making calls on my way home from the talk – contacting people in different leadership positions of major Jewish organizations. I told them we need some sort of resource for people in this situation. (I have no idea, by the way, if the Hasidic or Haredi world has any resources for modern Orthodox Jews who transition into their community, but if there’s a need and nothing exists, then someone should start something!)

Over the course of the year, a lot of conversations on this topic have been had with many different people, but nothing concrete has been done because no one was ready to partner with me on this and I’m already insanely busy running Jew in the City and taking care of my family. But then yesterday I got yet another reminder that we must do SOMETHING. I read an account of an ex-Hasidic woman who wanted to stay observant after she left her Hasidic community, but every non-Hasidic school she checked out didn’t want her kid. After enough rejections she got fed up and just left all together. Today she is no longer observant.

If a person leaves observance because he has intellectual issues with Torah or is not able to maintain his faith in a world with so much suffering that’s one thing. But if a person leaves observance because the people failed have him, then that’s something else. We can’t continue to fail people in need.

So here is my modest attempt to do more than just talk. We have a big network here. We need you guys to speak up. If you’re in the Centrist or Modern Orthodox world and are willing to host someone (who has left the Haredi or Hasidic world) for a Shabbos and/or if you will help advocate for them to get a place in your school, then please comment below (scroll down past the Facebook comment section). Please give a first name only and a city. We’ll have your email address recorded privately. If someone from the Haredi or Hasidic world wants to be matched up with someone in the Centrist or Modern world, please email us at info@jewinthecitydotcom and we’ll see who we have in your area.

This is not a perfect solution to the problem, but this is my attempt to be like Aryeh Kaplan’s dear roommate and do some lifting when someone out there needs help.

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  1. Not much help since I am in Indianapolis and I don’t see any used-to-be Charedi Jews here, but we could help with advice on getting higher education/getting into college and stuff like that.

  2. I’m Chana in Teaneck, NJ. We’re here for anyone who wants to join our community.

  3. We’re Center/Right (just shy of Hareidi and not Chassidish) and live in L.A. We can host a meal.

  4. Happy to host and/or offer support. Rivka in Modiin, Israel & Philadelphia

  5. Brooklyn, NY (Sheepshead Bay area)

  6. Nechama, Miami, FLORIDA … would love to be a part of this

  7. Kew Gardens Queens. Happy to host for meals and or discuss anything one has questions about.

  8. 100 percent welcome in Linden, NJ. Come to us for a shabbos!

  9. Sara from Baltimore. I’m a BT married to a Chassidic man. Happy to speak to anyone

  10. Rhawnhurst, aneighborhood in Philadelphia PA. A Totally accepting mixed community.
    We have the entire range, so a family with members holding in different places can all feel at home here. With schools to match. Check out the Jcor website!

    • I beg to differ. I lived in Rhawnhurst for 20 years. I never felt accepted in any circle and when my marriage broke up most of the people invited my “poor husband who wasn’t allowed to come home” (I had a restraining order against him for beating me up) over for Shabbat and Yom Tovim. I, single mom with kids still at home was basically ignored. Not one person called to see if we were okay and only one family, one year invited us for a seder. I wouldn’t recommend that community for singles

  11. Kudos to Alison for taking ont his issue, although sadly, most of the commenters here don’t seem to understand the problem. Here’s a quote from a recent blog post by Frieda Vizel, a brilliant ex-Satmar woman who left with her young son, wanting to remain Modern Orthodox, but ended up secular instead:

    “… As we were eating dinner Shafran asked the old question — why those who leave Hasidism “go all the way” instead of staying to some degree religious. And it was an opportunity for me to bring up the problem of the complacency among the Orthodox, of almost enabling the Hasidic world. I myself tried to become mainstream orthodox, but no Yeshiva would accept my son. They didn’t like a Yiddish speaking little boy with a Hasidic background. Yes, I tried and was denied, turned away time and again. The orthodox don’t like the whole idea of former Hasidim, that was my experience. Let’s be honest, there’s a silent prejudice the way there is among the Satmar towards Yemenites. I lived for three years in an orthodox community and tried to integrate. My son didn’t make a single friend on our block (in fact, I paid a neighbor to play with him) and I felt like a complete outsider, a few rungs down and out. I got none of this type of condescending treatment EVER from the secular Jewish world.

    • Allison Josephs Allison Josephs : May 15, 2014 at 12:02 am

      Thank you and yes, I saw this wonderful post and the point is that we are locating the people who will make the extra effort to care and to comfort. There are plenty of people doing the wrong thing. But we have a large network of people here who want to do the right thing.

      I don’t know if we can open the minds of the closed-minded but we can at least gather good people with good intentions and hopefully connect them with people who need support. We have to at least try, don’t we??

    • Pnina from flatbush, in Brooklyn. We are close to both boys and girls school and belong to an excellent, very open shul. Id be happy to advocate on anyones behalf and host shabbos meals. If the above woman still is willing to put her son in a yeshiva, I can find him a place.

    • we are ready to host, I am a chabadnik , definitely not charedi, just me, I try to listen well , love to be of help in any way
      the world of Torah is not all, as in extremism or nothing as in giving up any connection.
      a kindly thoughtful middle path is what keeps me on track.
      we can start with a coffee and cake, ill pay

  12. Malx and Simcha, Philadelphia Pa
    All our welcome to our home. We would love to help in anyway we can.
    Yasher Koach for starting this

  13. We’re “out here” in Oak Park, MI. Happy to help out any Jew who is searching for inclusion.

  14. Silver Spring, Maryland

  15. Eliana here in Springfield, Massachusetts. (With our local day school in West Hartford, CT)
    I will be happy to help anybody, whether by connecting to you to my community or just to talk and receive some advice/support

  16. My home is always open in Thornhill, ON (Toronto).

  17. Stacy & Michael in Ottawa, Ontario. (Canada)

  18. I think that more than inviting people for Shabbat, which has very limited impact, people need to be treated with respect. I’ve met plenty of ex-haredim who know much much more Gemara than I’ll ever know. Let them give a Dvar Torah. Listen to what they have to say.
    Myself, I moved into a new city for work (slightly different issue, but my religious outlook is almost always misjudged by people who judge based on appearances). I am a very competent baal kriya and a pretty good chazan, but nobody ever let me lead prayers. Nobody asked me to give a dvar torah. My family and I felt more and more marginalized (being invited for Shabbat had little impact on this), until finally I quit my job and we moved. In different circumstances, I might have stopped coming to shul. I think this is where the essential problem lies- don’t put people in inappropriate categories, and give them some respect. In the context of ex-haredim, remember that the Torah they learnt is Torah they still have.

  19. Here to help in sunny LA (Tarzana). Brilliant idea.

  20. ruchi koval : May 15, 2014 at 5:46 am

    We’re a not-very-yeshivish black hat family but we’re out here in Cleveland and I know folks on all sides of the spectrum. In general the rejection described is more common in the large east coast communities. I am happy to help and Allison – good for you for confronting this and for caring.

    • My situation is a bit different, but it still addresses “inclusion.” As a single (divorced) mom, I moved to Cleveland for the start of the school year. I don’t feel very included — at times the opposite. Even my son who wants to be a rabbi, I’m thinking of finding a secular school for. I love so many aspects of our religion, but I’m tired of feeling ostracized. With all due respect, Cleveland isn’t any more accepting than other places.

  21. BT married Orthodox …… Ashburn, VA …… Happy to host for Shabbos or whenever needed!!!

  22. Good idea and much needed. From an unmarried, middle-aged BT who also lives on the fringes of frumkeit. After making aliyah from Baltimore (Ner Israel rav), I have found Israel to be the most difficult place to try to live as a frum Jew. Society is so polarized here that objectively extremist views seem to be the majority. I’ve been told that even though I am unmarried, in order to be treated with respect by “authentic Torah Jews” (which is what haredim here call themselves), I need to cover my hair because I am perceived by haredim as a presumably married woman who doesn’t cover her hair, which is “equivalent to a goy.” I’ve been told that I don’t follow “da’as Torah” because my local orthodox rabbi (YU) isn’t haredi and doesn’t follow “their” gedolei hador; the only “authentic” gedolei hador. I’ve been told that “Jews like me” are here TO SERVE “authentic Torah Jews” who live their lives “on a higher level” than the rest of us, who are not haredi. I’ve been told if I leave Israel to live someplace more inclusive and welcoming (like Baltimore!), I will not just be leaving Israel; I’ll be leaving Judaism. And every day here, I witness people dressed like Torah-observant haredi Jews who behave without derech eretz on the buses, in the shops, on the streets, and in their homes. I am also inclined to leave the Torah world because I’m so disillusioned by the disconnect I witness between Torah learning and the way Torah Jews actually live their lives here in Israel. It feels like the haredi world is trying to create a new denomination of Judaism, separate from normative frumkeit. Kol hakavod to you for your initiative.

    • Revera Marrana : May 17, 2014 at 8:33 am

      Aviva … I have had a similar experience in Israel and I did leave Torah behind because of this disconnect. I am ashamed to be part of the religious Jewish community here because of their many despicable acts.

  23. Kew Gardens Hills, Queens. There’s a lovely and laid back community here, including young marrieds and many singles ages 25-40.

  24. Ottawa, Canada

  25. Chana Rochel : May 15, 2014 at 7:27 am

    Brooklyn, NY. I’m not exactly what you’re looking for, but I’m living a chassidish, Heimish, with a twist of modern kind of lifestyle. Its a bit out of the box but works for me and my fam, so if there’s someone who just needs some guidance as to how to find their path from living a choking ultra chassidish life…to a more leniant approach to chassidishness without compromising on religious observance, Id be happy to be able to show them that it DOES exist and is not a conradiction to being frum.

  26. Janet in Linden, NJ. Come for a shabbos to experience a warm and welcoming community.

  27. I live in Memphis, TN, and I and I am from a modern Chassidish family in Boro Park. I myself moved more to the Modern Orthodox community after struggling because I felt stifled in the chareidi NY world. I am also in the psychology field. I would LOVE to help.

  28. And I would also love to be more intensively involved.

  29. Beth Jacob in San Diego is a heimish shul where all are welcome.

  30. We’re in Jacksonville, FL and always happy to help!

  31. Washington Heights, NY. We host yidden from all backgrounds including chasidish, yeshivish, modern and non observant.

  32. Memphis, TN – Happy to Host.

  33. Eager to help in Memphis, TN.

  34. Maybe we should start a Facebook group where we can discuss what we can do together. This way all our heads can brainstorm together and we get something up and running.

  35. Jody Eisenman : May 15, 2014 at 10:16 am

    We are happy to host individuals or families for shabbos. You know where we are…..:)

  36. Stamford CT… we welcome the opportunity!

  37. We are an American, modern Orthodox family living in London, England. Happy to host, give a meal, and welcome to our shul anyone who finds themselves on this side of the pond.

  38. I could not agree with you more. I think we all need to work on accepting one another. Count us in for the campaign. We, personally, are more the right, but live in a modern community. WE’d be honored to host anyone. Liat, Omaha, NE

  39. I’m in Passaic, NJ if anyone needs.

  40. Pittsburgh, PA
    Be our pleasure to have you for Shabbos!

  41. I live in Tzfat, and feel that Tzfat is very accepting of people, regardless of levels of observance etc – especially amongst the English speaking community. There are loads of older singles, BT’s, gerim, etc….
    and we are all pretty friendly. Of course we have the best English library in the country … which helps! I can’t speak about the school situation tho. I know many single women (single and also divorced) who don’t cover their hair. It’s also a small community so perhaps that’s why we are more friendly. I suggest people who are searching for their place might find it in Tzfat….
    the main problem is parnassa… 🙂

  42. Houston, TX – Happy to Host. We all deserve to feel welcome regardless of our background.

  43. Sarah, Paris, France

  44. Matt and Pam in Stamford CT. Happy to have you join us

  45. Amsterdam, netherlands
    Don’t know if there is a need here… But we are a very all stripes community so everyone is welcomed!

  46. Ottawa Ontario

  47. Boro park.
    There are plenty of middle of the road, even chassidic families, right here in boro park and Flatbush who lead normal modern lives , and are happy to be frum and maintain a traditional lifestyle. a daily shiur for men is crucial to maintain levelheaded balance in life. For women, a good social circle is crucial in maintaining the traditional vs modern equilibrium.
    That said the educational system needs to be revamped. The English departments in the boys schools are not up to par, and the high schools are few and scant. Some young adults resent not being prepared for jobs and for real life situations. The leadership has some reckoning to do, but the average laymen has pretty much a good balance between modernity, tradition, chazal, science, business, shuirie Torah, Kiruv, tzedokoh, fun, vacation , dining, wine, fashion, dress, .. You get the picture.. It’s all about balance and chinuch for balance.

    • Revera Marrana : May 17, 2014 at 8:35 am

      Chaim, you are nothing more than a propagandist. The boro park frum world needs a total overhaul, back to basics like human kindness and honesty.

  48. Devora in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel – Happy to host

  49. Would love to help! Malka – Cedarhurst, NY

  50. Boro park.
    believe it or not there are wonderful people right here in boro park, flatbush, marine park, Staten island, seagate, etc. who struck a right balance in life , which pretty much works for them with a little effort. They are modern, fun loving and outgoing; make a decent living, up to date in fashion, food, wine, art, science to thier desire. AND, at the same time maintain a frum lifestyle wich include the following: shiurie torah, shabbos, yomtov, chinuch, singing , davening, inspirational Jewish music, modesty, and Yiddish language and culture.. They also try their best in avoding the emptiness of the adulterated popular culture. Yes, there is some fixing to do, especially in education and higher eduction for boys etc. but overall, if you can afford it move to Brooklyn. You just cant replace the Jewishness or “Hiemishkiet”

  51. Dear Allison & Community,
    It is with happiness and a sad sigh that I say to you how happy I am to see you all band together for us. I was 10 when my parents became religious and it was not until I was older that I went to a Yeshiva high school and then move into a large frum neighborhood in Brooklyn as a young adult. Unfortunately – I got to see the not so nice side of our issues as religious Jews… from the inside – and the outside as a BT trying to fit into ultra orthodox communities and such as a young adult. Shiduch dating was traumatic… I had a troubled Chassidish man try use me like a “practice goy” for not so wonderful behavior on a date and several other encounters where the term Baal Tzuvah made me feel like an unwanted piece of trash. I WAS 10 YEARS OLD – a child. I felt as though I was being punished for the acts of my parents (how horrible – they did the true and right thing and STILL in many communities are considered less or undesirable). I wavered… and after many attempts to “fit in” in NY and CA communities gave up. I too, had gone to daven in some places and never got even ONE “Good Shabbos” – any attempt to get to know who the new person in Shul was. I think it was after several times having that happen that I gave up trying to be a part of a frum community at all. I have made my choices in life and will always have the beautiful parts of religious life in my heart and plenty of sad “what if’s”… as I am now married and have a child with a very kind and understanding man who is not a Jew. I send my daughter to a Chabad preschool and will try to keep her in Jewish schools in the hope that her experiences will not be like mine. I have my parents in my life but lead a sad double life of sometimes we keep shabbos – others we don’t. I keep my home kosher just to be able to see my parents and keep a few ties from the past. Who knows where my life will lead – but I do not think for me it will be a religious path as I have made my own choices and commitments. I am thankful that maybe you ALL can make a difference. Even if it is just for one person. We all matter…

  52. Chana Oshira Block : May 15, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    Chana, Houston, TX! 🙂

  53. Happy to be part of this circle of connections. I am in Valley Village, CA (LA, San Fernando Valley), and have much familiarity with and sensitivity to issues stemming from domestic violence and childhood sexual abuse. Always happy to make new friends and welcome people at all levels of observance/knowledge into my home.

  54. AztecQueen2000 : May 15, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    I live right on the line between Boro Park and Flatbush, and since I left my abusive husband have become a complete pariah. My own rabbi (who is MO) once tried to convince me to drop the charges after my estranged husband violated an order of protection, and my rebbetzin told me that “he didn’t actually do anything to me.” With the exception of one family, I don’t get Shabbos invites. I can count the number of people who actually support me on one hand. Most of my neighbors are Chassidim of various stripes, and one actually told me that she didn’t want her child playing with mine because she “has to worry about the influences on her children.” Meanwhile, the estranged one is still a pillar of the community. So much for all those Torah values.

  55. Lauren, in Brooklyn. I’d be happy to host anyone for Shabbat! My husband is ex-haredi and experienced this exact problem.

  56. Mira, Baltimore, MD

  57. i have an open home, and i would be more than happy to work with you – please contact me privately…

  58. Hello,
    I am in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a very diverse, eclectic, politically liberal or conservative town of 600,000. There is a Chabad House here that I like going to. In fact, there are 4 Chabads throughout New Mexico!! It’s amazing that some countries have just one, and New Mexico has 4.
    I believe the family that runs the Chabad house in Albuquerque is quite Orthodox. They remember the teachings of Menachem Mendel Schneerson z”l frequently. However, all kinds of Jewish people come to Chabad, and everyone is treated well there. New Mexico might be a great place for someone who would like to stay frum, but get some distance and perspective from the more intense Orthodox communities.

    (What’s more, I personally am looking for two roommates to move into the house where I live on June 1st. There are places to live here.)

  59. Meir Staten Island NY.
    Would note (to be dan lekaf zechus) that i think many peeps in MO/centrist community are less heimish/inviting to random strangers because they are more caring for their wives/hardly spend time with them and feel that it would be wrong to their wives to invite unannounced guests and spend precious shabbos lunches with random strangers.

    • Allison Josephs Allison Josephs : May 15, 2014 at 11:00 pm

      i think many of the wives in the haredi world love having company. at least that’s what i’ve seen. bustling house holds and revolving doors of guests are what make them happy. IMO, the modern world has become more secularized in this way and we have a bigger division between our space and our neighbor’s. as i said in the post – every community has its strengths and weaknesses and we could all use to learn from each other’s strengths.

    • A warm “Good Shabbos” to a new face goes a surprisingly long way… just saying.

  60. Brooklyn-Midwood.
    Plenty of people in our ‘hood (including us) who would host.
    My kid’s school already has had a few kids enrolled from not-anymore-chasidic families.
    Although this is obviously a problem, I think there are plenty of non-judgmental people out there.

  61. Susan in Pittsburgh. Happy to host.

  62. Benzion Klatzko : May 16, 2014 at 1:56 am

    What a wonderful initiative! Thank you Allison for saying what needs to be said and banding the Jewish people together. Although this may seem self-promoting, everyone who is writing comments on the article expressing the desire to host guests should immediately sign up for Shabbat.com as hosts. It is a safe way to invite people by checking out the references, feedback, and friends.
    There are tens of thousands of Jews all over the world who are members of this website that look for places each week. Many of them come from Chassidic homes. I should know! We are having nearly 100 people this week alone from Shabbat.com and at least a quarter of them are former Chassidim. We have nearly 50,000 members who are either guests or hosts. You can be one of them! And check out “Jew in the City” Shabbat video where we partnered in promoting Shabbat!

    • Allison Josephs Allison Josephs : May 16, 2014 at 8:30 am

      Thank you, Rabbi Klatzko! And yes, I second that Shabbat.com is awesome and everyone looking for Shabbos placement should use it! What we’re trying to do here is slightly different as we want to gather a group of people specifically who are in the center/modern world whereas Shabbat.com has lovely hosts from across the Orthodox spectrum. We’re also looking to identify people who can be more than just Shabbos hosts, but who can also help a family get their kid into the local yeshiva. And finally, we made this commenting public because we want any ex-Hasidic/Haredi to see how many people are ready to accept them and help them and I hope anyone in that situation who reads this has a little more hope that there are good people out there who want to be there for them in this time of need.

  63. I love the idea of people hosting people, period…. but I also wonder if it wouldn’t cause resentment in the modern Orthodox world to accept the definition of their hashkafa – a view widely held by chareidim, I think – that their observance is “less than,” rather than simply “different.” I wouldn’t want somebody to view me as “halfway” religious or my observance of halacha as a “compromise” in some way. Lots of quote marks in here, but I guess my question is – is modern Orthodoxy really a stepping stone into or out of “full” Chassidic observance? Do we really want to position / promote it that way?

    • Allison Josephs Allison Josephs : May 16, 2014 at 8:31 am

      While there may be some who view MO as “less than” from the Haredi world there are certainly MO who view Haredim as too extreme! I would think that anyone who’s looking to integrate into a more modern Orthodox community believes that it is a better fit for them religious and is not looking down.

  64. Ab Fried
    Awesome idea i do congratulate you for t he courage to do something put me on the list

  65. motty neuwirth : May 16, 2014 at 2:43 am

    Kiev ukraine
    Please anyone feel free to contact.

  66. Hi from Milano, Italy.
    Almost every shabes we host people who are different from us. Non orthodox, ex orthodox, future orthodox. From each of them we only learn, opening a new window on this ancient and thousands facets world. With each of them we try to share our thoughts, feelings and experiences on a path where H’ decided to put us and where so many positive aspects are sometimes forgotten. Italian kosher lemehadrin food assured:) shabat shalom Gheula

  67. Ahuva and Meir in Ramat Gan. We’re happy to host (though we’re not around in the summers).
    Just a point about lack of recognition in a new community: sometimes it’s not due to callousness, but due to a lack of realization. If a community is accustomed to seeing a lot of new and/or transient faces, or even if it is just really big, “regulars” may not even notice there is a stranger or newcomer around because they don’t know who belongs and who is “just visiting” a friend. It may be inconsiderate, but people who don’t greet an outsider probably assume they have a host already…Here’s to working together to create a warmer, more welcoming environment! Shabbat shalom!

  68. Philadelphia, PA (center city)

  69. Moshe Anthony : May 16, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Moshe, Hewlett, 5 towns Long Island, NY
    As a former chassid myself, it would be an honor and a pleasure to host a fellow yid, regardless of religious background.

  70. There are groups out there - Footsteps : May 16, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Hi Allison. I would check out Footsteps, which is a group for ex-Haredim. This is a group that gives psychological counseling and GED training, as well as a host of other resources, for those who have left the Haredi world. I would check them out. Many people at Footsteps are exactly as you have described and would like to be active in Modern Orthodoxy.

  71. Chava in Boston!

  72. Have you reached out to Footsteps? They’re an organization that works with people leaving the Haredi/Chassidish world. I don’t think they usually direct them to the MO world, but they might have it, or be open to having it, as an option.

  73. Happy to host. Perfect community for transitioning in westchester NY

  74. Happy to Host
    Silver Spring, MD

  75. Brooke Czarka : May 19, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    Brooke and Aryeh Czarka from Springfield NJ. I was raised in this wonderful community and we are so excited to be able todo the same for our children. Extremely open, loving and warm community. Not a single person goes unnoticed in shul on Shabbos. Looking forward to this wonderful journey!

  76. We are modern orthodox and would be happy to host.

  77. We live in Waterbury, ct….@allison Joseph this issue u bring up, I completely agree with!..thumbs up for this spot on article!!…together we can slowly chAnge the world for the better!!…hope we can help out in some way to help pple stay with their faith!!

  78. Atara in Plainview, NY

  79. it exists..foot steps

    • Allison Josephs Allison Josephs : May 20, 2014 at 5:30 pm

      thanks for your comment, danny, but footsteps helps ex-haredim acclimate into the larger world not into another orthodox community. we have seen that there is a specific need for that so we are trying to fill that that need.

  80. perel from monsey. First of all, I think I may know the couple you mentioned in your blog. I hosted them a couple of times for Shabbos meals. My husband and I are happy to help. We are on Shabbat.com

    And may I just say, viewing this long list of people willing to help, and open to the problem – Mi K’amcha Yisrael! We see that there are still lots of open-minded Orthodox Jews who want to express their Ahavas Yisrael!

  81. We live in Kew Gardens Hills Queens. We have an open house, are non judgemental, and welcome any Jew who would like to spend Shabbos with us. We have a fun household.

  82. I literally dont hang out with my friends that live in frummer areas because of this. I won’t go to their houses for shabbos either. Or yom tov. Luckily, I live in a bt community with an eruv, and I am scared when my family will move away from here in a year because I don’t want to be so connected to the insular hareidim that have belittled my family and Judaism.

    • Allison Josephs Allison Josephs : May 23, 2014 at 8:11 am

      thanks for your comment, Ni Ro – i just want to clarify that not are “haredim” belittle other Jews. there are many wonderful haredim out there who are accepting and non-judgmental.

  83. Boruch N. Hoffinger : May 25, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    “roommate’s magnanimous reaction…” What’s so magnanimous about not trying to direct someone towards the best life possible, ‘The Torah Way?’ This ‘friend’ was weak in his observance.

    • Allison Josephs Allison Josephs : May 25, 2014 at 10:03 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Baruch. I am a big fan of exposing all Jews to the beauty and riches of Torah wisdom and living. But the thing about this story is that young Aryeh Kaplan had already done some learning. So he had been exposed. What was so magnanimous about his friend’s offer was that he was willing to give with no strings attached and with no agenda other than to give.

      And the thing about that kind of giving is that it was the very thing that made young Aryeh reconsider his decision to leave (which led him go on to become the Torah giant that he became). So I will have to disagree with you and reiterate that it was in fact magnanimous. Having exemplary character traits is one of the best ways to inspire Jews to connect with their heritage.

  84. Elisa Zoldan : May 27, 2014 at 3:27 am

    Elisa and ronen n6 london. Uk. we love hosting people

  85. Elisheva and Yonatan from Kew garden hills, Queens. We dont have sleeping space but we would be happy to host for a meal or chat with anyone. I am from monsey so I grew up with a lot of exposure to the chassidish community.

  86. Hesh Follman : May 27, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    would welcome people from any background…..as a rather worldly couple we would love to listen to other peoples spiritual or other travels and offer input if / when requested….

  87. Daniel Kronengold : May 27, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Rabbi Daniel Kronengold, Bronx, NY

  88. Onit and Adam : May 27, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    Elkins Park, PA….you are welcome 🙂

  89. edmonton, alberta. canada. always happy to host. can accomodate modern, chabad, haredi, all welcome.

  90. Aliza
    Linden, NJ

  91. Very refreshing and nice to see warm Yidden from all over. I’m sorry to say that this is not the situation in every neighborhood. My neighborhood however has not been so warm and welcoming. Perhaps you have to be a Russian/Ukranian to be accepted here. If you are, then there are all sorts of programs and invitations. American Jews are treated as second class citizens even by the rabbis of the shuls in the area.

  92. I’m not equipped to host anyone at this present moment (vagaries of graduate school), but if you follow up with me in a few years, I hope I will be. So please feel free to contact me at any time and ask me whether I am equipped yet to host. As soon as I am able, I will be eager and willing.

  93. Bergenfield, NJ

  94. Adam in Baltimore. Yasher koach on this wonderful idea, I’m sorry I only found out about it now. Willing to host anyone looking, we ourselves are pretty much center, maybe a bissle to the right.

  95. We live in Scranton pa. We could host 2 adults (and kids) whenever. We are Makom members, and as family are willing to help anyone going through the same (or even worse) situation.

  96. Gershom Gale : May 16, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    My name is Gershom Gale. I don’t have much to offer, but if anyone on the way in or out of becoming Chareidi would ever like to be hosted for a Shabbos seudah, I can offer that. I don’t really have anything else to offer.

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Allison Josephs

Allison is the Founder and Director of Jew in the City. Please find her full bio here.