Deborah Feldman

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Deborah Feldman (2016)

Deborah Feldman (born 17 August 1986) is an American writer currently based in Berlin, Germany. She is known for her 2012 autobiography Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots.

Feldman grew up as a member of the Hasidic Satmar group in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She was raised by her grandparents, since her mother had left the group, and her mentally impaired father wasn't able to raise her on his own. Her first language was Yiddish, and the use of English was frowned upon within the community. Already as a child, Feldman was in conflict with the strict rules of her community. She entered an arranged marriage at the age of 17, and became a mother at the age of 19. In 2006, she decided to leave the community, and studied literature at Sarah Lawrence College. Feldman started blogging, and in 2012, she published her autobiography, Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots, which became a bestseller. In 2014, Feldman moved to Berlin in Germany, where she settled in the Neukölln district, and continued to work as a writer. Her books were translated into German and well received by German critics, which led to her appearing on various talk shows on German TV.


  • Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots. Simon & Schuster, 2012
  • Exodus. Plume, 2014

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