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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ChaiFlicks, a Santa Monica-based service that acquires and distributes content focused on Jewish culture

ChaiFlicks: Jewish TV and Film on Demand

Moment brings you essential independent reporting from the Jewish community and beyond. But we need your help. Your support is critical to the work we do; every tax-deductible gift, of any amount, keeps us going. Thank you for reading and thank you for your help. Donate here.  Seemingly out of nowhere, the pandemic lockdown has fueled the unprecedented popularity of Jewish-themed streaming series, some with unexpected crossover appeal to broader audiences. Think Unorthodox, Shtisel, The Spy, Fauda and HBO’s The Plot Against America. So it’s only natural that a boutique streaming service has emerged to try to catch this wave, providing engaging, smaller, independent alternatives to the big- and mid-budget blockbuster limited series. ChaiFlicks, a Santa Monica-based service that acquires and distributes content focused on Jewish culture, launched August 12. The new service costs $5.99 per month, roughly what the BBC-overflow Acorn...

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Still from Unorthodox

Dressing “Unorthodox”: An Interview with Justine Seymour

Tall and blonde with a striking English accent, her height only slightly less discernible over video call, Seymour spoke to Editorial Fellow Lilly Gelman over Zoom from her apartment in Berlin. She explained how she felt a “heartfelt yearning” for the show since she herself was raised in a religious cult and thrown out at the age of 16. But while she felt an emotional connection to Esty and her story, Seymour’s personal life did not influence her design work, which, she says is based purely on observation and character development. 

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What to Watch Next: A (Jewish) Irish Rebel

Even as pandemic lockdowns are eased in some respects and locales, we’re likely to need home screen and streaming content for at least a while longer, especially those of us in compromised categories. In recent months I’ve reviewed streaming series with central or prominent supporting Jewish characters in shows such as A Place to Call Home, set in post-WWII Australia, and The Restaurant, set during the same period in Sweden. In our streaming tour of the far corners of the diaspora, the next stop is WWI-era Ireland. Four years ago, RTE, the Irish government broadcasting company, together with Netflix, produced a big-budget, two-season series to mark the 59th anniversary of the Easter 1916 Rising. It was produced with great attention to historical detail and with a large cast. The armed upheaval set in motion the successful drive for an...

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Archives | Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

"The Spy," Netflix's new show starring Sacha Baron Cohen, retells the heroic story of legendary Mossad agent Eli Cohen during his years undercover in Syria in the 1960s. In honor of this Friday's premiere, we pulled a Moment exclusive from the archives: Am I My Brother's Keeper? A Spy Discovers the Truth about His Beloved Brother. Read the full article at the link below: Am I My Brother's Keeper?

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