Orthodox - Unorthodox: Truth and Fiction

Join JW3 and Byte the Book for an evening which will look at orthodox Jewish worlds through different lenses – those of both reality and fiction, exploring how and where they intertwine .


Sunday 14th June, 2020 @ 8:00 pm

  • In Conversation


About the Event

The Netflix series Unorthodox has been one of the ‘must see’ shows during this period of lockdown.  It has opened many peoples’ eyes to the ultra-orthodox world of the Satmar, that they might not have considered before but how accurately does that reflect reality? 

Join JW3 and Byte the Book for an evening which will look at orthodox Jewish worlds through different lenses – those of both reality and fiction, exploring how and where they intertwine .  Our discussion will include; insights from the show’s cultural and yiddish advisor (and co-star), Eli Rosen, into how Unorthodox was researched and made; explore the extraordinary relationship that award-winning author J.S Margot developed with a modern orthodox family, as written about in her award-winning book, Mazel Tov; hear from Yehudis Fletcher on her experiences as part of a chareidi community. 

The Panel

Yehudis Fletcher was brought up in a chareidi home and at the age of 18, had an arranged marriage to a boy from a Satmar family. She is a political and social activist with a special interest in safeguarding. She is an Independent Sexual Violence Adviser at Migdal Emunah, a charity providing support to Jewish people who have experienced sexual violence, and the founder of Nahamu, a think tank examining extremism in the Jewish community. She is a student of social policy at Salford University.

J.S. Margot is a writer and freelance journalist based in Antwerp.  Her award-winning book, Mazel Tov (Pushkin Press, 2020) explores her extraordinary relationship with a modern-orthodox family in Antwerp.

Eli Rosen was born and raised in a Hasidic Jewish community in Brooklyn, which he left to pursue life, liberty and a law degree. Shortly thereafter (i.e. seven years of indentured-servitude-to-his-Uncle-Laban later), he saw the error in his ways. A recovering lawyer, Eli is now discovering his long-repressed passion in the dramatic arts. When he's not ably and competently dispatching (read: dodging) his duties as managing director of New Yiddish Rep, Eli can be found translating obscure tomes, updating his website and hatching ill-fated schemes for world dominance.  He was the cultural and Yiddish adviser on the Netflix series Unorthodox where he played the part of Reb Yossele.

Pamela Druckerman - Emmy award winning author and journalist Pamela Druckerman writes a monthly column for The New York Times and also pens the Dress Code column for 1843, The Economists’ monthly magazine.   She is the author of Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting and her latest book is a portrait of modern middle age called There Are No Grown-Ups: A Midlife Coming-of-Age Story.

JW3 is the only Jewish Community Centre of its kind in the UK; a vibrant, cross-communal hub for Jewish arts, culture, family programming, social action, learning and much more.

This event is produced in partnership with Byte the Book. Byte the Book is the leading international network for all those in the publishing industry. Helping authors publish, educating everyone on technology and connecting people with each other and other industries that can use your content. Find out more about us via bytethebook.com.

Registration is required. 

About the Book

Mazel Tov
Mazel Tov

J.S. Margot, Jane Hedley-Prole

Publisher:Pushkin Press

Publication date:23 Jan 2020


0.00 out of 5
1 reviews
"a gentle chronicle of empathy and understanding"
The Guardian