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Hidden Heretics: Jewish Doubt in the Digital Age

Hosted By: The Center for Jewish History

Join author Ayala Fader (Fordham University) in conversation with Michal Kravel-Tovi (Tel Aviv University) about her book, a revealing look at Jewish men and women who secretly explore the outside world, in person and online, while remaining in their ultra-Orthodox religious communities.

What would you do if you questioned your religious faith, but revealing that would cause you to lose your family and the only way of life you had ever known? Hidden Heretics tells the fascinating, often heart-wrenching stories of married ultra-Orthodox Jewish men and women in 21st-century New York who lead “double lives” to protect those they love. While they no longer believe that God gave the Torah to Jews at Mount Sinai, these hidden heretics continue to live in their families and religious communities, even as they surreptitiously break Jewish commandments and explore forbidden secular worlds in person and online. Drawing on five years of fieldwork with those living double lives and the rabbis, life coaches, and religious therapists who minister to, advise, and sometimes excommunicate them, Ayala Fader investigates religious doubt and social change in the digital age.

In stories of conflicts between faith and self-fulfillment, Hidden Heretics explores the moral compromises and divided loyalties of individuals facing life-altering crossroads.

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