Review: My Un-Orthodox Life

From one of our Mentors

Julia Haart’s extraordinary life is at the center of “My Un-Orthodox Life”, the most recent Netflix show, which explores family life beyond the ultra-Orthodox Jewish world. It is so-called as Netflix found considerable success with the show “Unorthodox”, a dramatisation loosely based on the biography of the same name by Deborah Feldman. These women do not have much in common, other than compelling stories which are now being used for dramatic entertainment. Julia Haart has a remarkable and unique story to tell.

Born in Russia, her family moved to America when she was young, becoming increasingly Orthodox and eventually moving to Monsey, New York. From there, Julia married at age 19 years and consequently had four children. When the oldest, Batsheva, was married, also aged 19 years, Julia abandoned that way of life and quickly found success in the fashion industry, such that, within a few years she had created an amazing new life, as the CEO of a modeling empire, acquired a new multi-millionaire non-Jewish husband and ultimately a Netflix ‘reality’ show too. Her story is unusual, remarkable, and fascinating. To what extent it reveals any truths, however, is questionable.

This style of television, constructed reality, relies on participants allegedly sharing intimate details and moments of their lives for all to see. It is real as much as any social media is real. It shows what is intended, either by Julia Haart or her production team. By watching, you may want to buy into the lavish lifestyle and accessories flaunted by them. The fact that Julia Haart has a particular story to tell is secondary to the advertising this show provides for her upcoming book, fashion brand, children’s social media accounts, and fashion items constantly paraded throughout the series.

At no point is any reference made to any support, therapy, organisation, or outreach programme that helped Julia or her family to achieve this incredible wealth, fame, and seeming ease with the secular world. It is a sort of fairy-tale of fame, wealth, and global empire-building that represents a happily-ever-after.

If you are in a situation and want to change your life, it is highly likely that you will need some practical support and help. Not many people end up as rich and seemingly successful as Julia. This show is really about some very wealthy people, who happen to be Jewish but have nothing to offer in terms of advice, support, or insight, other than to say, “look at me now!”. Of course, Julia is a motivated and brave individual who clearly made some hard choices which have if she is to be believed, paid off. She and her family remain close, and they are prepared to make changes to their lives to fit in with her. Most people do not have this degree of financial or familial support. Most people’s realities are not reality tv, which is not really reality at all.

Confidential, compassionate, and practical support is available from Mavar. Our mission is to help alleviate the distress that most people go through when on a path to live their most authentic life. Our one-to-one bespoke mentoring helps our members to achieve their goals in the most timely way possible.