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One of Us

In the wake of trauma and abuse, three Hasidic Jews face ostracism, anxiety, and danger as they attempt to leave their ultra-Orthodox community.

Director: Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady
Year: 2017
Time: 95 min

 One of Us
(2017) on IMDb

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International: Netflix
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Ways to Influence

Share this film. Give others the chance to learn from its story!

Donate to the Etty Ausch Educational Trust. Following the events depicted in the film, Etty has set a personal goal to attend a four-year college, and eventually become an attorney that defends those in need.

Support Footsteps, the only organization in North America that assists people who wish to leave or explore leaving ultra-Orthodoxy.

Know the signs of child abuse and don’t be afraid to ask for help from services like Childhelp, a national organization dedicated to the prevention of child abuse. Kids like Ari need your support.

Reach out to those suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts. Share the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline if you feel they are in need – you may save a life.

Related Articles and Resources

Film Subject Ari Hershkowitz Talks About One of Us

“One of Us” shook the orthodox world with its release. The movie detailed the stories of three young Jews who had made the decision to leave their Hasidic communities, and the aftermath of their choices.

One of those subjects was Ari Hershkowitz who talks about the movie and his life on the podcast HevriaCast.

I Escaped Hasidic Judaism and Went From Living on the Streets to Being a Hollywood Actor

“I had no marketable skill beyond being able to charm your pants off. I had never been on a date. I had never heard of The Beatles. And I thought, ‘May the Force be with you’ meant ‘May God be with you.’ ”

Read the article from the film subject Luzer Twersky on Huffington Post.

I Was a Hasidic Jew, But I Broke Free

“Abandoned by a mother who left the faith and a father who was mentally disabled, she was taken in by her grandparents, who brought her up to be a quiet, obedient, God-fearing woman who would get married in her teens and start a large family right away. But Feldman had other plans.”

Learn about her story on New York Post.

How To Shoot Where You’re Not Allowed

The team behind Netflix Original doc ‘One of Us’ had to develop tactics to film within a notoriously closed community.

Find out more on No Film School.

Leaving the Fold: Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady on ‘One of Us’

“What truly sets their new film apart from their previous work is its central question: When you want out, what lengths does it take to leave, and is it worth the cost?”

Read the article from International Documentary Association (IDA).

The Secret Life of an Orthodox Jew

“He speaks in broken English about reading forbidden websites and sneaking off to movie theaters and bars. The life he returns to — his family, Hasidim — is a good one, he says, as long as he doesn’t think too hard about what’s outside of it. ‘I know that my religion is the right way. I would never leave. I love my wife and my family,’ he declares. ‘I won’t let myself get caught.’ ”

Read the article from The Week.

The High Price of Leaving Ultra-Orthodox Life

“Young adults who decide to abandon their cloistered Jewish
communities have only one another—and a single organization —to help them navigate the alternate reality of modern-day New York.”

Continue reading on The New York Times.

How a Netflix Documentary Got Inside New York City’s Intensely Insular Hasidic community

Learn how the filmmakers Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing got access to the community and how they found their film subjects on Business Insider Nordic.

Separated From Her Children For Leaving Her Religious Community

Etty Ausch claims she has been abused by her husband for twelve years. She eventually left her husband and the Hasidic community she was born into. In the process, she lost custody of her seven children.

Listen to her speaking on BBC Newsday.

Here’s What Happens When Hasidic Jews Join the Secular World

“They’re afraid of being disowned by their family and shunned by their community. They also know that if they defect, their family loses status; the marriage chances of the siblings are down. They are risking an enormous amount.”

Read the article from The Cut.


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