Three Orthodox American Jews will adopt a secular lifestyle for a reality TV show called “Shunned” according to a report on Sunday in New York Post.
The TV show will feature an aspiring model and actress and her boyfriend as well as a 26-year-old Jewish man who says he is furious at his parents for “depriving” him of bacon.
“When I had the first bite, I felt angry,” Luzer Twersky said. “I felt how could my parents keep this from me?” he is quoted in The Daily Mail as saying.
Pearlperry Reich, the divorced 30-year-old mother of four and aspiring actress, said she hopes her participation in the TV show will “create a positive Judaism” before adding that it provides a good opportunity for her to get exposure.
Executive producer Noah Scheinmann hopes to add a fourth cast member to “Shunned.”
Reality TV programing remains a popular form of entertainment in the United States where no subject is deemed too taboo to feature. From featuring lives of the famous (the Osbornes) to the not-so-famous who are now famous for being on reality TV (the Kardashians), reality TV has also taken on subjects in a bid to raise peoples awareness on, for example, American Muslims (“All American Muslim”).
“Shunned” hopes to shed light on the lives of Hasidic Jews, conservative followers of Judaism.
Scheinmann told the New York Post that divorce would be a key theme of the show as the three cast members are divorced or about to be.
Reich’s 24-year-old boyfriend, Shauli Grossman, said he joined the show to help educate Orthodox teens.
“There are a lot of people [for whom] this lifestyle is not a choice, and they would die to leave,” he said. “We’re married off at 17 or 18 before we even know what we want,” he is quoted in the Post as saying.
Twersky was 19 when he got married after his first date. He is now divorced with two children and involved in a relationship with a Irish-Catholic woman.
He moved away from his Orthodox living and now works in fashion. Of the change in his life he said: “A lot of things are new to me. I saw ‘Star Wars’ for the first time last year … At least now I can understand what people are talking about; ‘May the force be with you.’ ”