Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Off-the-Derech Reality TV

Remember the Cholent group from 2007?

the name given to the informal weekly gatherings for Orthodox Jews on the margins of their close-knit society ?

and Gitty Grunwald?

Well, welcome now to "Off the Derech" reality TV:

One of 12 children of a prominent rabbi in the Hasidic community of Boro Park, Luzer Twersky suspected there was more to life than studying the Torah as a youth...after his divorce, the father of two decided to find out for himself what else he was missing.
“My only knowledge of the secular world at that point was from movies and what my parents told me, which is all the goys in the world were murderers, that they’d kill all the Jews if they had the chance," Twersky tells the News. “We’re led to believe that the secular world is one big orgy. Then you go out there and you start meeting people and you realize that’s not true.”

...Now an executive in the fashion industry and a part-time actor, the 26-year-old is one of four cast members of a proposed new reality TV show with the working title, “The Unchosen Ones.” The program...[is]...more about the culture shock that the two men and two women faced in leaving the notoriously insular Orthodox Jewish community. “It’s about twentysomethings who make the decision to leave everything behind, and are now faced with living their lives without help from anyone and very little knowledge of the outside secular world,” says Scheinmann.
...He says he became an atheist after a particularly intense conversation with a stripper during a lap dance. Hey, there was a world out there to learn about.
And almost four years after his divorce, Twersky is finally in a good place, with a shiksa (non-Jewish) girlfriend and a brand-new short haircut that has left him without payot (the curls worn by Hasidim).
“I hope that I set an example for these people that with resilience and with balls, you can go out there and do whatever you want to do,” he says. “What I want these people to see is: It’s worth it just to be able to be yourself.”

To be honest, four good reasons not to watch television. ^

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