Biography of Deborah Feldman, The Team
The Team

Biography of Deborah Feldman

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This book is part of Hyperink's best little books series. Our best little books are 1,500–3,000 words of fast, entertaining information on a highly demanded topic. Based on reader feedback (including yours!), we may expand this book in the future. If we do so, we'll send a free copy to all previous buyers.


«It's really scary to go right up to the edge and jump off. If you can do it, it opens up this whole new world. So, if you have the courage to give up everything, you can achieve everything and you'll never be in danger of losing yourself in the process. That's what I've learnt and that's what I want to show other people, that bravery pays off.”

– Deborah Feldman

Deborah Feldman was born and raised in a strictly orthodox and cloistered Satmar Hasidic community in New York. Her first book, a memoir titled UNORTHODOX: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots, was published by Simon and Schuster in 2012.


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Abandoned by her mother when she was just a toddler and facing the prospect of being raised by a mentally ill and largely incapable father, the only reasonable option was for Deborah to live with her paternal grandparents, Bubby and Zeidy. They raised her, with the help of numerous overbearing and unkind aunts, until she got married.

As Deborah details in her memoir, she was a naturally inquisitive child, curious about life beyond the boundaries of the insulated life within her ultra-orthodox community. During her childhood, she would obtain banned copies of secular fiction from authors like Louis May Alcott and Jane Austen. She would tear off the front covers and hide them inside her Jewish textbook to smuggle them into class.

Her grandfather Zeidy was particularly strict, insisting that Deborah follow all the rules of the Hasidic faith without exception or compromise, but Deborah found some comfort in the company of her grandmother, Bubby. They shared a love of books, and to a lesser extent music. However, despite Deborah's love for her paternal grandmother, she never seemed to get the love she needed in return. Deborah attributes this lack of emotional love from her grandmother to the fact that Bubby, who was Hungarian, had seen the majority of her family die in the concentration camps of World War II. After witnessing that kind of trauma, she was simply unable to form the kind of emotional connection required to offer love in the form that Deborah needed.

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