The Netflix reality show, My Unorthodox Life, has been the talk of much of the Orthodox world since it was released less than two weeks ago. It tells the story of Julia Haart, who first developed a shoe line, and quickly rose in the world of fashion. She now is the the CEO and co-owner of Elite World Group, the world’s largest modeling network.
As most of you probably know, the reason that her story is different from others is that Julia was an Orthodox Jew named Talia Hendler living in Monsey. She had once been a passionate teacher of Torah in an Orthodox high school in Atlanta. About eight years ago, she left her husband and Orthodoxy itself, just days after her daughter’s wedding. Her astounding rise took place entirely in the past eight years.
Orthodox Jews have had varied reactions to the series, from complete rejection of Julia’s honesty and experience, to countering her story of oppression with stories of loving being Orthodox under the hashtag #Myorthodoxlife, to accepting and celebrating Julia’s journey.
In the latest Orthodox Conundrum Podcast, Scott speaks to Talli Rosenbaum, Anne Gordon, and Shoshanna Keast-Jaskoll to get their reactions to the series – including the question about whether men have a right to discuss Julia’s story, the positives and negatives of Julia’s interactions with her family, the implications for Orthodoxy, and more.
Please listen to and share the podcast, and let us know what you think on the Orthodox Conundrum Discussion Group on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/432020081498108).
Thanks to all of our Patreon subscribers, who have access to bonus JCH podcasts, merch, and more – we appreciate your help, and hope you really enjoy the extras! Visit the JCH Patreon site at https://www.patreon.com/jewishcoffeehouse.
Music: “Happy Rock” by bensound.com