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Real Ex-Hasids of New York City

New reality show, ‘Shunned,’ follows three formerly Orthodox Jews

Stephanie Butnick
April 09, 2012
Luzer Twersky.(Facebook)
Luzer Twersky.(Facebook)

You could learn a whole lot more about Pearlperry Reich, Shauli Grossman, and Luzer Twersky thanks to Shunned, a reality show being shopped to networks. The show, the latest to hone in on an insular Jewish community, follows the three divorced, formerly Orthodox Jews as they navigate their new lives apart from the communities they grew up in.

Luzer Twersky, one of the show’s stars, was featured in a December 2010 Tablet Magazine podcast, where he explained his break from his family and tradition at the age of 23, married with two children. Radio producer Josh Gleason shadowed the former wedding singer for much of his first year on his own, as he grappled with trying to support himself while having only a middle-school education.

“I always questioned the religion,” Twersky explained to Gleason. “I always wanted to be able to watch movies, I always wanted to be able to fall in love with someone and have sex with her even though I’m not married.” Now 26, Twersky is dating an Irish-Catholic woman from Arkansas (Grossman, 24, and Reich, the other two castmates, are dating), and the show will chronicle their love lives as well as their past lives—the 30-year-old Reich is in a custody battle for her four children.

Will you tune in to Shunned?

Earlier: Who’s Angrier?
Related: Breaking Away [Vox Tablet]
Jewsy Shore: Ex-Hasidim reality TV [New York Post]

Stephanie Butnick is chief strategy officer of Tablet Magazine, co-founder of Tablet Studios, and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.