New TV show on ex-Hasidic Divorcees in the Works

A new reality TV docu-drama show is in the works, this time bringing the obscure Ultra-orthodox culture and lifestyle to the bedrooms of mainstream Americans from the perspective of rebels. The cast is currently led by our very own Perry Reich, who is waging a public battle against her Hasidic husband for custody over her children (trial coming up next month). Other recruits for the show are her boyfriend Shauli Grossman, an ex-composer for Hasidic albums and Luzer Twerski an actor and model. The producers are still looking for others who are in the throes of the transition to join the cast.

The show seeks to shine the spotlight on the shortcomings of Hasidic marriages: how individuals are paired up into lifelong marital commitments soon after reaching adolescence without any prior courting or soul-searching about their purpose and direction in life.

Perry Reich

Both Ms. Reich –who has famously appeared on the Dr. Phil show to vent her frustration with the system– and her boyfriend, are very vocal about the their grievances. They are mincing no words in expounding the injustice and brutality of Hasidic marriages and the challenge in attempting to leave one against the will of the extended family and community who often see divorce as stigma par excellence.

Ms. Reich grew up in Borough Park and is the daughter of a petty but renown Hasidic Rebbe, R. Avraham Reich. Rabbi Reich thrust himself into the Jewish outreach arena in the 80’s when Russian immigrants began surging in to the States. They often eat at his table on a regular basis and he tries to instruct and goad them in the religious sphere as well. Ms. Reich herself was once involved in outreach, known as “kiruv” in Hebrew. She taught in one such a school in Starret City in Canarsie, Brooklyn, under the direction of Rav Avner German. She reports that the Rabbi once praised her that she was “the best educator there in 60 years”. The school seems to be following an “Avigdor Miller” approach to modern Orthodoxy.

Before and After Photo of Shauli Grossman

Shauli Grossman stems from a Belzer family and is a highly ambitious and talented young man. In his former incarnation as a Hasid he collaborated with the popular Hasidic singer Joel Lebovitsch (son of Rabbi Michael Lebovitsch, the “Nikolshberger Rebbe”, a highly controversial figure in the Hasidic community of Monsey, NY of the 90’s) on an album. He is apparently both a terrific singer and composer. See his composition and performance at the Youtube video titled “Ich vill zein a Rebbe”, I want to be a Rebbe — a parody of the seemingly ubiquitous craving among the rank and file of contemporary Hasidic Jewry to be either a Rebbe or some similar macher “with a cherry light in their car”.

Luzer Twersky, who similarly has some Belzer blood coursing through his veins, is the son of yet another petty Rebbe, the Foltichaner Rebbe. The latter projects an aura of superb saintliness and preoccupies himself with collecting ransom and reading petitions (known in Yiddish as going to a rebbe with a kvittel and pidyon). He sired a inordinately large family and is alleged to have been physically abusive with his children underneath the saintly persona put forward for occupational purposes.

Mr. Twersky is also the product of an arranged marriage gone awry with two children hanging in the balance. After leaving the community several years ago, he made a name for himself with his witty repartee and outspoken apostasy and a budding acting career. He recently acted in the film “Who is Joel Baum” which will be released soon by the filmmaker and producer Pearl Gluck and was extenseively featured in a recent National Geographic documentary on ex-Hasidim “Inside Hasidism”. He has recently done away with his trademark long beard he had retained for so long for acting purposes and is presently employed as a VP of Operations at a high-end suit retailer in the city.

The cast of characters is certainly rich and colorful. The actual show proposal, however, is still not clear. Questions linger as to what sort of content pertaining to Hasidism a general American audience is likely to crave and whether the present producers and cast of characters are able to provide that. Moreover, the producers are still shopping around for a Network to take their bait and so there’s no profuse money streaming in thus far.

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11 Responses to New TV show on ex-Hasidic Divorcees in the Works

  1. Sam the Man says:

    The show will fall flat on its face as soon as they will exposed as liars.

    Let me explain, I have no issue with a “Reality” show if it based on truths, once your lies come in it can no longer be called a “Reality” show. Thanks

  2. junky says:

    I got nothing against u. Every one would admit that u r right on some issues but
    every society has he’s downsides and u want fix it by going all over and insulting us. And if u really feel bad for these nebechdiga chasidim don’t hurt them more. (Btw. wen someone is watching this they don’t think bad just on chasidim they think bad on all jews so u r doing damage for every one of us)

  3. pearl reich says:

    Once again jacob you’ve written a fabulous,articulate, precise informative article. Thanks a ton.

  4. Curious1 says:

    How come the people writing comments “against” progression for the Chasidic community on this website, do not know how to write/spell? Is it because of lack of education? I am just curious. Also, I was just thinking there needs to be a show called “The Real Housewives of Chasids”. The “rest of us” want to learn about the Chasidic lifestyle and beliefs and are only judging on what the see/know. I have been reading/researching etc. the Chasidic culture since my first drive through Borough Park in 2010… the culture fascinates me and I want to know more.

  5. still jewish says:

    so good done keep it up all ur work wish i can join u jewishfun2@gmail.com

  6. honesty may hide says:

    She seems more interested in her fame than in getting her children back! These “rebels” are self serving liars….would not watch/support anything they are in…and I am not observant..just honest…

  7. toni heller says:

    Hey if u wanna check out more about Jewish people u can go to Wikipedia. Now to all the guys that are going to fix our hasidic system u know it well that u won’t change anything u just wanted to get popeler. U wanna leave go ahead and leave I don’t see y u have to get everything in the news. I’m a hasidic guy the hole 9 yards and I never had a problem to do something or to go to any place or to watch any show or movie i dont have to be “unorthodox” to do all that kind of stuff I’m doing now.I’m a human guy just I don’t rebel in what I believe in. Wye dose the hole entire world have to see pictures from u necked. who is even interested in u guys u will never be able to come back to where you belong as people have pictures from u guys doing stuff your kids would be ashamed of you. U could of said much batter things on that show, your problem is that the Jewish people live in a colt this is you f**king issue who gives a shit about a colt my problem is that the teachers abused me and I had no education in the business world and now I have to pay for college $30,000 i can write the hole night but I have very little patience to u guys

  8. resharpen says:

    Curious is correct. I am very respectful of Chassidim. But -I also respect the choice of individuals. HaShem gave us each a brain, and freedom of choice. If he had wanted us to all be Chassidim, then that is what we would be! It makes sense that in EVERY group there are some members who DO NOT WANT TO BE THERE. That is a given.
    And – to Curious – you are correct. It is illustrative that the Chassidic commentors here have very poor English. This saddens me tremendously. I think it is wonderful that your knowledge of Judaism is immense – but it is so very important that you have really skills – not everyone can find work as a Rabbi or teacher in your world.
    I am also appalled that many comments here automatically accuse those in this article as ‘liars’. How do YOU know they are liars?? And for you to say this is LaShon Harah, which is forbidden. I feel saddened whenever Jews accuse other Jews of these things. And to say they want to be ‘famous’, because they are being public about their problems and they DO NOT want their children is a HOrrible thing to say. You do not know what goes on in another person’s heart. I have seen a lot of divorce cases, and all parents in them are frightened re: the possibility of losing their children.

  9. D says:

    Anyone who seeks a public forum to air their grievances in sordid detail is suspect.
    They are trying to use the court of public opinion to gain social acceptance.
    Like Maddona or Michael Jackson with their bizzare costumes and stunts, they hold public attention because they aim to shock.
    They are called attention whores.
    ……….. End of story.

    Yes, it is horrific to accnolege that abuse exists (mental, physical, sexual), unfortunately no one is immune to it. I have travel led in many different circles and have seen it all. Humanity is flawed. Sick bastards exist. Thats why the jails are full.
    That’s life. Press charges, then…Move on.

    And mental illness such as depression and the like exsist as well.
    In my humble opinion, People who are misfits or out of the box in their respective communities who are seeking cult stardom by trashing their former traditions are not particularly exposing their bodies or souls

  10. ever considered the other side of the story? says:

    Anything precious is kept protected, and under wraps. Case in point: the museum collections, paintings and the crown jewels.

    Ever notice the security system in a bank? You must pass through two heavy secured fireproof doors to get to your personal locked safe to retrieve your treasured possessions.

    When one cries sexual harrasment..then poses semi
    naked…what are we to think? Certainly they have a lack of
    dignity and self respect.
    If we were to feel that our bodies are beautiful and precious commodities we would treat it with the respect and honor it deserves.

    Mocking the traditions of their youth , how does that make them a better more centered person? It is a forum to realease their toxic anger.they are showing that they do not value themselves.

    Our current American culture values hedonistic pleasure. Like ancient Rome and Greece. Hollywood thrives on the culture of shopping and consumerism it creates. Puritan values are mocked and deemed old fashioned.

    If you look back in history, every culture that dropped traditional family values and ran after self serving pleasure (I have to find myself…at the expense of other..) That society no longer exists today,

  11. D says:

    Is it only loshon Howrah when they piss u off? Trashing a system because of an individualal bad experience is like the proverbial throwing the baby out with the basthwater!

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