Preserve Rockland to Host Presentations by Hasidic Reformists

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Presentations by Naftuli Moster and Fraidy Reiss at Pearl River Elks Clubhouse Facility, 2041 Elks Drive, Nanuet, Sunday, September 25, 2016 @ 2 p.m.

Preserve Rockland invites the general public to hear Naftuli Moster of ‘YAFFED’ – Young Advocates For Fair Education and Fraidy Reiss of ‘Unchained At Last‘ speak this Sunday, September 25, 2 p.m. at the Pearl River Elks Club Facility. Moster will discuss the state of secular education in Hasidic yeshivas and Ms. Reiss will describe her work in helping Hasidic women escape from forced and arranged marriages.

Naftuli Moster is the executive director of Yaffed. He grew up in Borough Park and attended Hasidic Yeshivas (elementary and high schools). In 2012 he founded Yaffed after discovering the gaps in his and his friends’ elementary and high school education. Moster graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in psychology from the College of Staten Island and went on to receive a Master’s in social work from Hunter (CUNY).

YAFFED is an advocacy group committed to improving educational curricula within ultra-Orthodox schools; it fervently believes that every child is entitled to a fair and equitable education. Yaffed’s work involves raising awareness about the importance of general studies education, and encouraging the leadership of the ultra-Orthodox world to act responsibly in preparing their youth for economic sufficiency and for broad access to the resources of the modern world.

YAFFED encourages compliance with relevant state guidelines for education while maintaining respect for the primacy of Judaic studies and the unique cultural and religious values of the ultra-Orthodox community. It’s mission is to ensure that all students receive the critical tools and skill sets needed for long-term personal growth and self-sufficient futures. Moster has been the subject of numerous articles in the New York Times and other New York publications some of which are listed below.

Fraidy Reiss was 19 when her family arranged for her to marry a man who turned out to be violent; with no education or job, in an insular religious community where only men have the right to grant a divorce, she felt trapped.

Still trapped at age 27, Fraidy defied her husband and community to become the first person in her family to go to college. She graduated from Rutgers University at age 32 as valedictorian. Her family declared her dead, but Fraidy persevered: With her journalism degree, she was hired as a reporter for the Asbury Park Press in New Jersey, eventually getting promoted to the paper’s elite investigative-reporting team. She went on to a career as an investigator at Kroll, the world’s largest investigations firm. At the same time, Fraidy managed to get divorced, win full custody of her two daughters and get a final restraining order against her ex-husband.

But Fraidy knows that most women and girls who want to flee or resist an arranged/forced marriage are limited by finances, religious law and social customs. For them, Fraidy founded and now leadsUnchained At Last. Fraidy has been interviewed on PBS, NPR and numerous other television and radio outlets around the world. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, Huffington Post, USA Today, the Star-Ledger and countless other papers in the US and beyond. Stories about her have been published in the New York Times, the Star-Ledger, the Jewish Daily Forward, Haaretz, Metro New York, Financial Times (in the UK) and many others. Fraidy has been a featured speaker at seminars, conferences and other events across the US.

‘Unchained At Last‘ is the only nonprofit in the US dedicated to helping women and girls leave or avoid arranged/forced marriages and rebuild their lives. Unchained provides women and girls with free legal and social services and emotional support. Unchained is also the only nonprofit in the US dedicated to promoting social and policy change to prevent forced marriage. Unchained raises awareness about forced marriage and advocates for relevant legislation. ‘Unchained’ envisions a world where every woman is free to choose whether, when and whom to marry — and whether to get divorced.

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