What To Watch: My Unorthodox Life

In Defense of My Unorthodox Life

Love her or hate her, one thing is clear: Julia Haart, the 50-year-old self-described ultra-Orthodox Jew turned fashion mogul and star of Netflix’s newest reality show My Unorthodox Life, has a whole lot of chutzpah.  At 42, Haart left an Orthodox Jewish community in Monsey, NY for a largely secular life in Manhattan. So frustrated with Orthodoxy’s restrictive rules that she became suicidal, she secretly started selling insurance, saved up and took off to start a new life. Haart launched a shoe company and quickly rose in the fashion industry, becoming CEO of the modeling and talent agency Elite World Group. She had four children with her ex-husband, three of whom have left Monsey and live elsewhere in New York. She shares custody of her fourth child, Aron, who splits his time between her ex-husband’s house...

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Rally against antisemitism at the U.S. Capitol

“No Fear” Rally Against Antisemitism in D.C. Draws Over 2,500

More than 2,500 people showed up at the National Mall next to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC in solidarity against antisemitism Sunday. The rally was held in response to an increase in antisemitic violence in recent months. The two weeks of military conflict in Israel and Palestine this May coincided with a 75 percent increase in antisemitic incidents reported to the Anti-Defamation League compared to two weeks before the fighting.  Speakers included Elisha Wiesel, son of the late Nobel Laureate and Moment cofounder Elie Wiesel; Jeffrey Myers, rabbi at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA, where 11 were killed in 2018; Talia Raab, who received rape and death threats after organizing a “Walk for Israel” in Naperville, IL; and Rabbi Schlomo Noginski, who was stabbed repeatedly outside a Jewish center in Boston earlier this...

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Death penalty protest

Cantor Leads Jewish Movement to Abolish Death Penalty

As Texas inmate John Hummel was executed on Wednesday evening for killing his pregnant wife, 5-year-old daughter, and father-in-law in 2009, Cantor Michael Zoosman was reciting Kol Nidre to a crowd of protestors at the U.S. Supreme Court.  Zoosman, a former prison chaplain and founder of L’chaim! Jews Against the Death Penalty, says he recited the sacred Yom Kippur prayer to “atone for the national sin of the death penalty.” His prayer was part of the 28th annual “Starvin’ for Justice,” a four-day liquid-only fast and vigil starting June 29, co-sponsored by several abolitionist organizations. “The death penalty says infinitely more about our society that allows it than the human beings condemned by it,” he says.  Staked out on lawn chairs in 95-degree heat, the group of about 30 sang, gave speeches and took turns ringing a...

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