Off the Derech, On Our Own Path

OTD Stories

Shoshi's Story

Shoshi is 25 and was raised in the Stamford Hill community in London. She is currently living in Switzerland where she is studying for her IB (International baccalaureate) after which she would like to become a pilot or a robotic engineer. Hi…

Steve Miller's Story

Steve is 25, married, and has 3 kids. He was raised Chassidic and turned Atheist two years ago. Hi Steve, could you describe your family's religious background to us? My parents are part of the Ultra-Orthodox Hasidic sect, called Bobov. As…

Yoni’s Story (Part 3 of 3)

What was it like for you to lose your faith? It was very difficult for me to lose my faith. I really did enjoy every aspect of being frum. I enjoyed learning and davening. I liked the frum look. When I was growing up I dreamt of having sons…

The OTD Journey

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My Own Derech

Living in the heart of a major frum community, I thought there was no one like me. I either had to decide to remain in the community and keep going to shul even though I didn't believe in Hashem, or I had to go off the derech and completely…
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Connection

For me, well, I didn't even know that being “off the derech” was a thing. Of course, in the back of my mind, I knew people left orthodoxy, but I didn't know that people talked about it, not in the way I needed to talk about it. I thought…
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Not Alone

Being the token orthodox Jew in a small rural town was lonely enough. We had moved here because it was cheaper and closer to my husband's job. I made a place for myself as a sunday school teacher and organized rosh chodesh events for the women…

The OTD Bet Midrash

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Lighting the Way - By Rabbi Adam Chalom

The Maccabees make complicated heroes. Yes, they stood up for being Jewish against forced assimilation to Greek culture. And yes, they achieved Jewish independence for a hundred years, a model for Jewish self-defense and dignity that resonates…
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Chanukah: When We Lost And They Won

by Peter Walters Remember Chanukah – dreidels, chocolate coins, latkes, lamp-lighting, all that stuff? Great wasn’t it? One of the really great things about Chanukah is that it’s almost as good as Christmas, but without the whole goy-guilt.…