University of KansasLynn_Davidman (2)

I just recently finished a book, Becoming Un-Orthodox: Stories of Ex-Hasidim based upon narratives with adults who had taken the challenging step of leaving the  Hasidic communities in which they were raised.The book interrogates the connections between culture (as seen in religions), embodiment, gender and identities.  The primary argument of the book is that although our culture emphasizes cognition and emotions, and sees leaving religion as a matter of losing faith, those who leave these communities undergo an identity transformation through the medium of the body. This argument applies to others whose primary means of identity change is through the body, such as lesbians, gays, bisexual and gay people. The chapters of the book are organized to tell the narrative sequence of the steps involved in leaving.


  • The Whitening of the Jewish Immigrants
  • Stories of Leaving Hasidic Life
  • Tensions Between Tradition and Modernity in Contemporary Jewish Life