Founded on the belief that everyone has the right to choose their own path in life, Mavar aims to support those who feel unable to live authentically within the Charedi world, or who wish to explore options to study, work or live beyond the Charedi world. Mavar’s central mission is to empower individuals to fulfil personal goals, achieve independence and minimise obstacles that may be encountered on their journey – whether or not they choose to leave the ultra-orthodox community.
Mavar’s ethos and practice is guided by principles of non-coercion and impartiality.
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.