Orthodox Jewish Divorce Spurred By Technology, Some Say

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Counselors and community members are reporting a rise in divorce in the Orthodox Jewish  community,  and  some say Facebook is to blame.

But Baruch Herzfeld, a community liason between the Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox communities in Brooklyn, says “the technology is the excuse.”  “There is unhappiness,  and  Facebook  presents  options,”  Herzfeld  explained.

Hindie Klein, Director of Clinical Projects for Ohel Children’s Home and Family Services, also felt that social media can be “very seductive.

Klein said that seeing what other people have and how they live can lead to comparisons that can and do contribute to divorce.

Before, someone would get divorced and leave the community,” Herzfeld elaborated. “Now even if they move, you see them [on Facebook] and they take off their wig and they go to Miami and they are drinking a cocktail, and you ask yourself, why should I be in prison? Let me get out.

Lani Santo works at Footsteps, an organization that helps men and women who want to leave the ultra-Orthodox community.  Santo reported seeing an increase in the number of people leaving ultra-Orthodox communities and said “technology is a piece of that.”

It used to be that they had to go to the library, sneak out and physically get to a place where they can find more information — and now you have technology at your fingertips, even in the Orthodox community,” Santo said.

She said the internet allows restless, questioning young people in the ultra-Orthodox community to see “groups of people that have lived successful lives outside of the community.

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