Questions you may have

Beyond the charedi community

I want to learn about the world outside the charedi community. Am I alone?

You are not alone. There are others within the charedi community who also want to learn about the world outside – to understand what it offers and to explore aspects of their personality that they cannot do within the community.

Why do some charedim want to explore the outside world, go ‘off the derech’ or leave the community?

There are many reasons: to get an education for themselves or their children; to find a new career or employment in the wider community; to develop talents and interests that they cannot develop within the community, or to leave orthodox Judaism.  Some identify as reverse marranos, or see themselves as ‘formerly frum’.  Others choose to stay frum.

Does Mavar support people who want to stay frum?

Absolutely.  You can be as religious or irreligious as you choose. We’re here to support people who want to connect with the wider world and who want to have wider options than they currently have, for themselves or for their children.  We have no mission whatsoever of encouraging people to become less religious.

If I want to explore the outside world, do I have to live a double life or leave the community?

Not necessarily, but exploring the outside world is not approved by the community. Some charedim live in relationships that allow them to explore the outside world. Others feel that they must do so entirely in secret. Mavar exists to support you in whichever choice you make.

I feel intimidated by the outside world – it seems so strange. I don’t know where to begin.

The range of options in the secular world can be overwhelming even for those who have been brought up in it. It is full of contradictions. It can be exciting and liberating but it can also be disappointing. It can be inspiring and fulfilling but it can also be lonely. Knowing where to begin is a real challenge. Mavar is here to support.


Where do I begin?

How do I contact Mavar?

You can call Alex on the Mavar Helpline: 020 8144 5074. Because the helpline is not staffed at all times,  it would be helpful if you could leave a message – but you don’t have to.  If you’re comfortable leaving us a telephone number to call you on we’ll text you first and do our best to call you back at the time you request. Alternatively, you can email alex@mavar.org.uk , or make contact via the live chat box on our website which is completely anonymous.

Mavar will treat your call with complete confidentiality and impartiality, and you will not have to give your name.

Is there a chance that people will know that I have contacted Mavar?

No. Mavar will not share your identity or personal information with any individual or organisation. Our service is completely confidential. You can use a pseudonym (false name) if you like.

What will happen next?

When you contact Mavar one of our staff will talk to you over the telephone about your situation and what you are looking for. When you are ready and based on your wishes, you will be offered a mentor from London or Mavar North, whom you can meet in person (at a discrete location) or speak to over the telephone or internet. Your mentor will coordinate all the guidance you receive. Together, you and your mentor will decide where and how often to speak or meet.

I am under 18 years old. Can you help me?