Founded on the belief that everyone has the right to choose their own path in life, Mavar’s central mission is to empower individuals who choose to explore opportunities beyond the Haredi world to fulfil personal goals. Mavar support their efforts to achieve independence, live authentically and minimise the obstacles they may encounter as they explore options to live, work or study in the wider world – whether or not they choose to leave the Strictly Orthodox community.
Mavar’s ethos is guided by five central values:
Maintaining Confidentiality | Confidentiality is of the utmost importance to Mavar. The journeys our members take are deeply personal, and we respect their privacy through them.
Respecting Autonomy | We do not proselytise and will never stand in the way of our members’ freedom of choice, nor coerce them in their decisions or paths in life.
Offering Impartiality | Volunteers and staff provide a professional service that will support its members without judgement.
Supporting Empowerment | At every stage, we give our members the resources, tools and information they need to overcome challenges, make decisions and achieve results.
Building Resilience | No journey is the same, and no journey is simple. We put the needs of our members first and seek to set them on paths of sustainable change and growth.
A proportion of Charedi men and women who have grown up in the closed world of ultra-orthodoxy hold personal and religious values that are not in line with the rest of the community. Attempts to follow their own path often bring them into direct confrontation with family, friends and neighbours who regard expressions of individualism or self-determination as heresy. The community may resort to ostracising people who do not subscribe to their values and religious practices leaving them feeling trapped, isolated and helpless. They frequently resort to leading hidden, double lives which can be emotionally exhausting and increasingly difficult as their own nuclear families grow. Some may simply be exploring options to obtain a general education, whilst wishing to remain within the ultra-orthodox community, whilst others look to divest themselves of the strictures of ultra-orthodoxy, and to lead a secular lifestyle. Any effort to integrate with the outside, secular world is hampered by cultural disorientation, lack of basic education or qualifications, and negligible skills for employment. Men living within a wholly Yiddish speaking community will also have the added difficulty of a limited knowledge of English. Many are unsure how to manage in what appears to be an alien world, even though they were born in the UK. Struggling for years with issues of identity and the burden of guilt and fear often lead to depression and a sense of hopelessness. For those choosing to change their way of life, there are potentially risks, both in practical and emotional terms.