Monday, December 14, 2009

Welcome to Formerly Frum!

Formerly Frum is an online support forum and community for people who have been exposed to and become a part of insulated, orthodox Jewish communities, and are dealing with the transition into secular life.

The creators of this site were personally involved with the Chabad-Lubavitch community of Crown Heights, New York; however, this site offers support to everyone, not just Chabad. As secular Jews who chose to do teshuva and lived within a Chassidic community, and then chose to leave that community, we have insight into the challenges that both worlds offer, including the trauma and confusion associated with leaving such an insulated and indoctrinated community.

We have also realized that some,not all, ultra-orthodox communities have many qualities associated with cults. Therefore, a segment of this site will be related to cult-survivorship literature, advice, and help.

Surviving is an ongoing process- meaning we deal with the after affects of the endless doctrine, brainwashing, and half-truths we very often took to heart during our embracing of the community. It is the very wide-eyed wonderment of secular Jews searching for community and identity that these "outreach" communities prey on, and unfortuneately for members that end up leaving, we are left to pick of the pieces, sorting those we with to keep and those that need to be discarded. The difficulty, of course, comes with thetrauma that makes it hard to know what pieces of yourself to hold on to and what not to.

We hope that we can reach others like us out there and build an ongoing narrative that will inevitably help us heal, strengthen us, and build motivation for the future.

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