With the help of some members of an OTD Facebook group, I’ve created a brief “survey.” The purpose of this is not scientific. It’s simply a way for us to give voice to the multitude of ways in which people who leave frum Judaism achieve and define success.
The survey is ongoing. If it had a purpose other than providing a space to collect these responses, this would be terrible – you can’t draw conclusions from a survey whose responses were revealed while the survey is ongoing! But for our purposes, it’s fine 🙂
You can take the survey here:
Responses (will be updated soon – any suggestions on how to post these so it’s all readable are appreciated! For now, I’m bolding every other answer so it’s slightly more legible):
Questions are: A. Current age; B. Age when you left the frum community (approximate); C. What do you do now? (Interpret this question broadly – job title; student; or a brief description of what you’re up to.); D. If you’re a student: what is your major? or What field do you plan to work in when you graduate?; E. Are you financially stable now?; F. Do you consider yourself successful?; G. How do you define your success?; H. Any other comments?
Respondent #1: A. 34; B. 30; C. I work at a non-profit.; E. Mostly; F. Yes; H. I was raised in a low-income family, and struggled financially during my marriage and post-divorce. After leaving the frum community, things were awful for a while. I didn’t have a job, didn’t have a decent education, and was dealing with the fallout of leaving the community which took a heavy toll on me emotionally, as well. Now, I’m working for an organization which I feel passionate about. I’m earning enough to take care of my family. I see potential for me to grow and do bigger and better things, and I am happier than I’ve ever been.
Respondent #2: A. 21; B. 21; C. Copywriter, completing college.; D. Psychology, though I plan to remain in the creative field.; E. Yes; F. I’m successful in many ways, but had to halt my ambitions temp to work on all the trauma of my past, so my success has sort of been on pause the past few months.; G. Career growth and success, financial independence, cutting ties with my abusive parents, and honestly, being able to wake up every day in my own apartment and live, instead of committing suicide or landing up in a mental health facility.; H. Now that I disposed of religion, I can focus on things that truly matter instead of feeling guilty, scared, and pressured all the time.
Respondent #3: A. 30; B. 28; C. Struggling student; D. Cosmetolegist; E. No; F. No; G. By having a home, custody of my child and excellent paying work; H. To say that people leaving community don’t struggle is dangerous
Respondent #4: A. 20; B. 16; C. Student, Intern; D. Law; E. Mostly; F. Yes