Jewsy Shore: Ex-Hasidim reality TV
MICHAEL GARTLAND • New York Post
Move over, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills — the Real Hasidim of New York are coming to reality TV.
Three ultra-Orthodox Jews ditch their strict religious lifestyle and join the sin-city world of secularism in a docudrama, called “Shunned,” about their new lives.
One of the chosen three, Pearlperry Reich, who is now embroiled in a divorce and custody battle for her four children, said she joined the cast to give voice to people who are often ignored — and to help her budding acting and modeling career.
“My main purpose is to create a positive Judaism,” said the 30-year-old stunner. “And it would be a really good opportunity for me to get my face out there.”
Noah Scheinmann, an executive producer at No Regrets Entertainment, said the company is now shopping “Shunned” to the networks, and is searching for a fourth cast member leaving the faith.
Its allure, he said, lies in people’s relative ignorance of the Hasidic community. Divorce will be a key theme.
Of the three cast members, all met their betrothed through arranged marriages. They’re all divorced, or in the midst of a divorce.
Shauli Grossman, 24, who’s dating Reich, said he joined the show to help educate Orthodox teens.
“There are a lot of people [for whom] this lifestyle is not a choice, and they would die to leave,” he said. “We’re married off at 17 or 18 before we even know what we want.”
Luzer Twersky, 26, was married after his first date at the age of 19. He likened his experience moving away from the ultra-Orthodox world to living in a one-room basement apartment your whole life, and then being thrust into Grand Central Terminal at rush hour.
He grew up in the Belz and Satmar sects in Borough Park. Now he works in fashion.
“A lot of things are new to me. I saw ‘Star Wars’ for the first time last year,” he said. “It’s interesting. At least now I can understand what people are talking about; ‘May the force be with you.’ ”
And then there was bacon.
“When I had the first bite, I felt angry,” he said. “I felt how could my parents keep this from me?”
Twersky, divorced with two children, said that after leaving the faith, he played the field for a while.
“The lifestyle didn’t fit me,” he said. “You can’t sleep with a lot of women. You can’t try a lot of different kinds of food. It’s all about fitting in.”
Now he’s in a committed relationship with a blond, Irish-Catholic girl from Arkansas, a plot line that “Shunned” will be sure to follow.
“She’s as shiksa as they come,” he said. “She’s f---king awesome!”
[Hat Tip: Ruthie.]