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Off the Derech: Why Observant Jews Leave Judaism--How to Respond to the Challenge

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  25 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Off the Derech is the phrase used within the Orthodox Jewish community to describe those who have left Jewish observance. Using questionnaires, extensive interviews with psychologists and rabbis, and her Off The Derech website, the author reveals the multilayered reasons for the defection of so many observant Jews from Judaism. At the same time, she presents solutions to ...more
Paperback, 429 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Devora Publishing
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Kressel Housman
Apr 07, 2008 Kressel Housman rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Jews, Jewish parents
Nothing strikes fear into the hearts of Jewish parents quite like the idea that their kids could go off the derech. Most of us will do anything to prevent it, and if getting informed is the way, I was all for it. The author has done an excellent job of describing the problem, backing it up with real data from the people going through it, and explaining the fault lines in the Jewish world that are allowing it to happen. Though not a parenting book per se, it definitely helped me in creating a ...more
Shana
Aug 23, 2016 Shana rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, jewish
Although it's not an easy or light read, I highly recommend this book. It's taken me a little more than a year to finish it but it's well written and clear. I am in no way an expert but I feel like it covers some of the problems well and I think every Jewish educator should be required to read this.
Cheski
Sep 12, 2008 Cheski rated it really liked it
Off the derech is an eye-opener. It discusses the often neglected emotional and intellectual needs of people who went off the derech, without condescending on those who did. Although it is not a scientific research as such, the book is still a result of many online interviews and case studies.

Recommended.
Eli Mandel
Jul 12, 2012 Eli Mandel rated it it was ok
I don't remember being overwhelmed by the insights this book gave.
While the author did interview people who had gone off the derech. For her "experts" she stuck to rabbis and others who work to bring these folks back, she didn't talk to any experts who help these folks leave or stay out.
Alexis
May 16, 2009 Alexis added it
Off the Derech: Why Observant Jews Leave Judaism--How to Respond to the Challenge by Faranak Margolese (2005)
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Required reading for the religious zealot in your life, Jewish or otherwise.
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