Louise Leach: my journey from secular to Orthodox

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Over the last year, two big Netflix series have featured women in Orthodox Jewish communities. ‘Unorthodox’ told the fictional story of a young woman from a Hasidic community in Brooklyn, outside New York, who escapes to Europe to join her mother and pursue a career in music. ‘My Orthodox Life’, tracks a real life fashion entrepreneur who begins her life in the orthodox community but decides, rather like the heroine of Unorthodox, to leave the community behind.

In each case, the communities are presented as somewhat sexist, conformist, stifling — and the happy ending consists of the women leaving them behind and being liberated to pursue their dreams in the secular world outside.

But what about the opposite journey? It may not be featured in Netflix shows, but what about people who begin life in the secular modern world and choose to move into an orthodox community?

On this week’s UnHerdTV, Freddie Sayers meets Louise Leach, a former singer and star of the talent competition ‘Pop Stars’ who decided to join the Orthodox Jewish community after years of living what she describes as ‘the high life’.

She tells Freddie about her journey, what her commitments mean to her, and her hopes and fears for her five children growing up in the fast-paced, ultra secular city of London.

Thanks to Louise and we hope you enjoy.


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