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Netflix show ‘Unorthodox' details woman’s experience in Hasidic community

A new Netflix show inspired by the true story of a woman who left the Hasidic Jewish community in Williamsburg is stirring up a lot of questions and conversations.

News 12 Staff

Apr 30, 2020, 9:16 PM

Updated 1,537 days ago

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A new Netflix show inspired by the true story of a woman who left the Hasidic Jewish community in Williamsburg is stirring up a lot of questions and conversations. 
Abby Stein, 28, says she was raised as a boy in the Hasidic Jewish community in Williamsburg. 
"I was married in an arranged marriage to a woman who I think was my third or fourth cousin,” said Stein. 
She says she even got ordained to be a rabbi. She says after years of feeling out of place she, like Esty in the Netflix series "Unorthodox," left the community. 
"This is the best I've ever seen the Hasidic community, specifically the community that I'm from, being represented on TV,” said Stein. 
While Stein says "Unorthodox" can't possibly give an inside look at the ups and downs for every woman in the community, "It's doing a really good job of telling the story of Esty and Debra Feldman's book and telling the story of many many people."
After Stein says her wife's family forced her to leave and she broke apart from the community, she went through a physical transition, moved to Manhattan, and enrolled at Columbia University. 
For someone who had never even heard of the Beatles until she was 20 years old, she says assimilating had its challenges, as seen in "Unorthodox."
She tells News 12 she's grateful for the accurate portrayal.
 "It's helping us be able to live better lives because we don't have to every time we meet someone to give them a 10-hour talk about what our experience was like," said Stein. 
Stein says she also believes the Netflix drama will pave the way for an easier transition for people like her, Deborah, and Esty in the future.
 


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