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Real Ex-Hasids of New York City

New reality show, ‘Shunned,’ follows three formerly Orthodox Jews

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Luzer Twersky.(Facebook)

You could learn a whole lot more about Pearlperry Reich, Shauli Grossman, and Luzer Twersky thanks to Shunned, a reality show being shopped to networks. The show, the latest to hone in on an insular Jewish community, follows the three divorced, formerly Orthodox Jews as they navigate their new lives apart from the communities they grew up in.

Luzer Twersky, one of the show’s stars, was featured in a December 2010 Tablet Magazine podcast, where he explained his break from his family and tradition at the age of 23, married with two children. Radio producer Josh Gleason shadowed the former wedding singer for much of his first year on his own, as he grappled with trying to support himself while having only a middle-school education.

“I always questioned the religion,” Twersky explained to Gleason. “I always wanted to be able to watch movies, I always wanted to be able to fall in love with someone and have sex with her even though I’m not married.” Now 26, Twersky is dating an Irish-Catholic woman from Arkansas (Grossman, 24, and Reich, the other two castmates, are dating), and the show will chronicle their love lives as well as their past lives—the 30-year-old Reich is in a custody battle for her four children.

Will you tune in to Shunned?

Earlier: Who’s Angrier?
Related: Breaking Away [Vox Tablet]
Jewsy Shore: Ex-Hasidim reality TV [New York Post]

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Jason M. says:

Luzer Twersky. That first name will be a liability in the secular world.

ahad ha'amoratsim says:

Let’s see, he’s dating a Catholic and aspires to have sex with women he’s not married to. And Tablet Magazine finds that worthy of celebration?

Robert says:

Luzer, remember, Walk Towards the Girls, dont Run , and you can fuck them all.

ShlumperRabbi says:

Looks like Tablet is competing with failedMessiah .com    Hey I watch movies . why throw away the baby with the bathtub.  anybody ever hear of living moderately.  And don’t forget to eat your lobster with butter.  You no longer have to keep seperate dairy and meat. (it ain’t fish either)

philipmann says:

  You can follow this character from now till moshiach comes, and he still won`t have anything to say.

Frum Feminist says:

You write that the other two are dating. You’re unclear about who they’re dating. The way you wrote it, it sounds like they’re dating each other. Is that correct? Either way, Tablet editors should have caught the vagueness of the statement. 

Markus Kublin says:

I am a practicing, religious “Orthodox” Jew who watches television and movies, who dated other women before I met my wife, and who pays attention to the secular news, current events, and pop culture as an American citizen interested in the world around me.  None of these things take away from my commitment to my faith, my family, or my community.  
We learn that being Jewish is first and foremost about one’s personal relationship with the Almighty and trying to deepen and enrich that relationship every day by following His commandments.  It does not mean that one has to isolate one’s self from everything outside of Torah, and it does not necessarily require the extra restrictions enacted for the sake of piety in Hasidic communities. Just because one does not wish to remain in a community like that does not mean they should toss away their connection to Torah and mitzvahs.  Judaism is not an all-or-nothing religion.  We don’t label everyone “sinner” or “saint.”  We all are only human and we all need to grow and improve ourselves.  Torah is the path that we know works, and we know it is our gift from G-d. Mr. Twersky, my brother, there is a larger Jewish community, in New York and in so many other cities, just as there is a larger world.   I hope you find your way back to it, for your sake, and for the sake of your future children.

Ah, this makes me so sad. I think there’s something really awful about these formerly religious people who have to go about displaying all their unhappiness for the world at large to see: See Deborah Feldman. Is this next crew going to be the next Kate Goselin, the world’s favorite, over her or hate her media whore? Probably. The saddest thing of all is that our society which seems to be made up more and more these days of voyeurs will tune in so they can get their weekly dose of drama. Yuck. I, for one, will NOT be watching.

physician says:

It takes real courage to step away from all that’s familiar.  His honesty is refreshing. I wish Luzer Twersky peace of mind and every success for the show.

rochllaia says:

Ultra orthodox sects are like every other cult. The worship their own insularity more than they love their neighbors. You can’t blame open minded members from wanting to leave.  Besides, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to live a secular life. American Jews seem to be under the misapprehension that Chasidim are the guardians of the faith.  I disagree. The more fervently orthodox, the less faithful they are to the actual teachings: Love, humility, justice, charity.
I also believe that living without faith is a perfectly respectable option.

9Athena says:

If you’re the same person at 40 that you were at 30 you’re in an arrested development state. If you’re the same person at 50 that you were at 40 your mental and emotional facilities are stagnating. If you’re the same person at 60 that you were at 50 you are entering into a dinasaur realm. If you’re the same person at 70 that you were at 60 you want to take a long slow trip to unfamiliar places for an awakening. If you’re the same person at 80 that you were at a previous age, seek a care facility.
Living is change and evolution. If you aren’t changing, you’re not living. It’s just existence. The article is about change, choice and confrontation. Some of it naive, tentative, dead wrong and some seeds of future wisdom and growth. Welcome to a good and tortured life.  


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Real Ex-Hasids of New York City

New reality show, ‘Shunned,’ follows three formerly Orthodox Jews

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