In 2010, Deborah Feldman escaped from one life to begin a new one. The reasons behind this are narrated in her first autobiographical book, Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots, published in 2012. The book formed the basis for the Netflix miniseries Unorthodox, which premiered in March.
As a member of a Hasidic community in Williamsburg, New York, Feldman was born and raised in a strictly religious environment. The ultra orthodox Jewish Satmar community was originally created in 1905 in Hungary and was formed again in New York by Holocaust survivors at the end of WW II. The members of the community speak Yiddish and communication with the outside world is forbidden. The main purpose of the women in the community is to reproduce and “replace” those who perished in the Holocaust.
Feldman was raised by her grandparents. She entered an arranged marriage at the age 17 and two years later gave birth to a son. In 2006, the family moved out of Williamsburg and Feldman enrolled at Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers. In 2010, she left her husband and the Hasidic community. She now lives with her son in Berlin. Her second book, Exodus: A Memoir, also an autobiography, was published in 2014.
Join our upcoming Instagram Live with Deborah Feldman and Vogue Greece’s Fashion Features Director Elis Kiss in a discussion highlighting the strength and determination of a woman who is shaping her own destiny.
On Monday, May 4, at 17:00 (GMT +3), just visit the Instagram account of @voguegreece and watch a special Instagram live!