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‘The Unchosen Ones,’ New Reality TV Show, Will Follow Dropout Hasidim

The beginning of the end? Ultra orthodox Jews watching a computer screen, perhaps for the first time in their lives.

The beginning of the end? Ultra orthodox Jews watching a computer screen, perhaps for the first time in their lives.
Photo Credit: Yossi Zeliger/FLASH90

This reality show we’ll watch. The NY Daily News reports that producer Noah Scheinmann has been pitching to the networks (with some early interest) a new reality TV show with the working title “The Unchosen Ones.” He says it’s less about religion and more about the culture shock that the main characters—two men and two women—face after leaving the insular Ultra Orthodox Jewish community.

Luzer Twersky, 26, one of four cast members of the proposed show, is also one of 12 children of a prominent rabbi in Boro Park. He told the News that after he got married (by a shadchan, naturally), he found himself visiting Starbucks “to meet and talk to ‘real’ people.”

The father of two eventually divorced his wife, and “decided to find out for himself what else he was missing.”

His philosophical quest led him not to libraries, but to much darker places. Twersky told the News he became an atheist after a particularly intense conversation with a stripper during a lap dance.

“My only knowledge of the secular world at that point was from movies and what my parents told me, which is that all the goyim in the world were murderers, that they’d kill all the Jews if they had the chance,” Twersky, now an executive in the fashion industry and a part-time actor told the News.

“We’re led to believe that the secular world is one big orgy. Then you go out there and you start meeting people and you realize that’s not true,” he added.

Producer Noah Scheinmann told the News his proposed show is “about twentysomethings who make the decision to leave everything behind, and are now faced with living their lives without help from anyone and very little knowledge of the outside secular world.”

Scheinmann illustrates just how out-of-touch those former Hasidim are: “They didn’t know who John Lennon was, can you believe that? They thought John Lennon was a dictator. They just didn’t have any frame of reference.”

Born and raised in New Jersey, Noah Scheinmann, founder of No Regrets Entertainment, discovered his passion for television production as a telecommunications student at the University of Florida. In 1999 he became a producer for Internet production company Quokka Sports during their coverage of the Sydney Olympic Games with NBC. After producing the official website for the 2001 NCAA Basketball Tournament, FinalFour.net, Noah returned to TV as a producer on the ESPN reality series “The Life,” earning an Emmy nomination for his work. In 2004 he earned an Emmy Award for his work as a feature producer with NBC Track and Field at the Athens Olympic Games.

Before founding No Regrets Entertainment, Scheinmann was a producer on the documentary series “Timeless,” earning another Emmy nomination. In January 2006 became Head of Development for Red Line Films, where he left in 2008 to start his own venture.

The News reports that Twersky’s first few years were particularly rough, beyond the culture shock. Cut off from his community, he lived as a nomad, in a tent in Bushwick, in the backseat of a car, and on the couches of friends.

Four years later, Twersky is sharing his life with a “shiksa” girlfriend, reports the News. He sports a short haircut and no payas (sidecurls).

About the Author: Tibbi Singer is a veteran contributor to publications such as Israel Shelanu and the US supplement of Yedioth, and Jewish Business News.


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