Shulem Deen

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Shulem Deen (born 1974) is the author of a memoir, "All Who Go Do Not Return" (2015), and the editor of, an online journal for voices critical of Hasidic lifestyle and beliefs.

Career[change | change source]

Deen first became known as the author of the blog, "Hasidic Rebel," which he wrote from 2003 until 2012, and which was the subject of a 2003 feature article in the Village Voice.[1] Deen's blog was the first widely read website by a practicing Hasid casting doubt on his religious faith.[2] His memoir chronicles his often painful change from a devout member of the Skverer Hasidic community in New Square, New York to a secular Jew.

In 2010, Deen launched the Unpious website along with "Shtreimel," another ex-Hasidic blogger, and has served as its editor throughout.[3] He has also written several pieces for other publications on the intersection of Hasidic and secular lives, including articles in the Jewish Daily Forward, Tablet Magazine, Salon, and Zeek.

He currently serves as a Board member at Footsteps, a New York City organization that assists formerly ultra-Orthodox Jews with transitioning to life outside the Orthodox world.[4]

Personal life[change | change source]

Deen spent his early life among Satmar Hasidim in Borough Park, Brooklyn, and joined the Skverer sect when he was a teenager, moving to the town of New Square, to settle after marriage. He was married in 1993, and has five children.[5]

In 2005, Deen was expelled from New Square by its leaders for holding heretical views, and several years later divorced his wife and left the Hasidic lifestyle entirely. He currently lives in Brooklyn New York [2] He is mostly estranged from his children, who have remained among the Skverer Hasidim in New Square, N.Y.[5]

References[change | change source]

  1. William O'Shea (2003-07-15). "The Sharer of Secrets". Village Voice. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Pearl Gabel (2012-12-13). "Heretic Hasidim". Narratively. 
  3. Tova Ross (2014-01-07). "How Ex-Frum Memoirs Became New York Publishing's Hottest New Trend -". Tablet Magazine. 
  4. Josh Nathan-Kazis (2012-06-08). "The 'Footsteps' of Those Leaving Ultra-Orthodoxy". 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Joseph Berger (2013-11-21). "Outcast Mother's Death, and Questions About Jewish Sect's Sway Over Children". The New York Times.