years until she realized she was a lesbian. But her greatest battle
was yet to come.
Chavie Weisberger, Community Engagement Coordinator
Chavie is a Footsteps member since 2012, and a long-time supporter of
the OTD (ultra-Orthodox Jewish) community. In her capacity as
Community Engagement Associate, Chavie plays a key role in building a
network of those who have already made the transition out of
ultra-Orthodoxy and are looking to be connected with Footsteps. She
works closely with peer mentors, nurturing Footsteps’ online presence,
and assists in implementing leadership development programs.
Footsteps provides educational, vocational, professional, social, and
legal support to those seeking to enter or explore the world beyond
the insular ultra-religious communities in which they were raised.
Some people from the ultra-orthodox and Chasidic communities who
choose to enter mainstream America may feel like cultural immigrants.
They may face cultural disorientation and isolation coupled with a
lack of practical and marketable skills.
Every year, hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men and women attempt to
explore the world beyond their insular communities. These courageous
individuals struggle to redefine their lives despite punitive
reactions from family and friends, little if any secular education, a
lack of experience with modern gender roles, and, in some cases, a
limited command of English.
Footsteps is the only organization in North America assisting people
on this journey. Based in New York, Footsteps provides a range of
services, including social and emotional support, educational and
vocational guidance, workshops and social activities, and access to
resources. Thanks to Footsteps, former ultra-Orthodox Jews have a
safe, supportive, and flourishing community to turn to as they work to
define their own identities, build new connections, and lead
productive lives on their own terms.
Footsteps has served over 1,300 people since its founding in 2003.
Demand for Footsteps’ services continues to grow exponentially.
The cost of this event is $25 which includes a wonderful all-you-can-eat brunch followed by our guest speaker.