There are many different expressions of the Jewish faith. Whether your background is ultra-Orthodox, Reform, or more mainstream, we hope you find support in the following sections.
Did you know?
Former and Doubting Jews
(see more resources for those leaving Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox communities below)
Journey Free ~ The term Religious Trauma Syndrome was originated by Dr. Marlene Winell, whose aim is to help ex-Jews and others transitioning out of faith. She maintains a therapeutic practice in Oakland, CA and offers sessions in-office or by Skype. She also leads an online support group and holds weekend retreats for those looking to rebuild their lives after religion.
Congress of Secular Jewish Organizations ~ Focused on promoting a secular Jewish worldview, CSJO offers programs helping to educate Jews about their history outside the framework of organized religion. Check out their blog and find a local affiliate group.
Society for Humanistic Judaism ~ If you love your heritage but not the faith, get together with other secular Jews to celebrate Jewish culture without supernatural underpinnings. Find a community near you.
Off the Derech ~ This Facebook group exists for formerly religious Jews and Jews who are off the 'frum' derech. They have almost 3,000 members and aim to help former and questioning Jews help each other by facilitating respectful dialogue.
The Clergy Project ~ Are you a former or current rabbi or other spiritual leader who no longer holds supernatural beliefs? If your answer is yes and you could use the compassion and help of other religious leaders leaving both faith and profession, apply to join this online support community.
The Secular Therapy Project ~ Transitioning out of faith can bring up complex emotions. Sometimes it helps to talk with a mental health professional. Find a therapist without a spiritual agenda among the growing database of non-religious counselors who use evidence-based approaches.
Formerly Fundamentalist NYC ~ Live in New York? This private group is made up of formerly faithful friends aiming to foster a diverse community of ex-believers centered around fun events and dinner parties.
Religious OCD/Scrupulosity ~ Were you an extra-devout Jew? 50-60% of people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) who are from a religious background struggle with Scrupulosity, a spiritually preoccupied manifestation of OCD. Learn more about Scrupulosity or book a Skype, phone, or in-person therapy session with Dr. Steven Phillipson featured in this video about Scrupulosity.
The Friendly Atheist ~ Here at Dare to Doubt, we're not afraid of the A-word. Though we welcome all in various stage of questioning their beliefs, if you've already decided faith in anything is not for you, the videos, blogs, and podcast of the Friendly Atheist will keep you engaged.
For Former and Doubting Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox Jews
Footsteps ~ If you're a current or former ultra-Orthodox Jew, NY-based Footsteps offers programs to help you through any stage of leaving your faith and community. Footsteps provides in-person peer support groups as well as referrals to mental health services. They also host special events and parties where you can hang out with others who understand your journey.
Pathways ~ Based in Melbourne, Australia, Pathways exists so support people questioning or leaving Orthodox Jewish lifestyles. They offer advice for education, housing, and employment, as well as providing in-person meet-ups and other special events. Contact them if you need help or if you'd just like to talk to someone.
Forward ~ Helping Canadian ex-Orthodox Jews find shelter, food, and security are the main objectives of Forward. They believe in everyone's right to literacy and education, and they provide classes in math, computer skills, sex-ed and more. They'll also help you find scholarships for further education. Check out their blog and contact them if you need help!
Hillel: The Right to Choose ~ Are you an Israeli looking to leave the ultra-Orthodox world? This non-profit will help you through that difficult transition by providing housing, counseling, educational scholarships and more. They also have a confidential hotline where you can talk to someone about your doubts, fears, and goals. See their list of programs and services.
Unchained At Last ~ Helping girls, women, and anyone else in the U.S. facing a forced marriage or child marriage, Unchained will help you plan your escape (including international escapes), find safe shelter, provide emergency financial assistance, and provide you with psychotherapy and career counseling - for free. Founded by former ultra-Orthodox Jew Fraidy Reiss.
Articles & Media
Books by Jews Who Dared to Doubt
Our growing site endeavors to be inclusive, and because we like to make finding help easy and straightforward, we have only included organizations we have personally reached out to with sites that are easy to navigate and responses prompt. If you'd like to be added as a resource, please contact us!