The show stars fashion executive Julia Haart, who left the ultra-Orthodox community in which she was raised to conquer the modern world. The unscripted series follows her and her four children as they navigate life since leaving their extreme religious Jewish community.
Still a proud Jewish woman, but not religious, Haart is now the CEO of Elite World Group, one of the world’s largest modeling and talent management agencies.
Haart was raised in Monsey in upstate New York where she had four kids after an arranged marriage. She had never been on a first date and did not have a career. At the age of 35, she started to explore the idea of leaving for the outside world by reading books and watching television and movies. Less than 10 years ago, at 43 years old, she decided to leave her community and set out on her own. In the matter of eight years, Haart launched her own shoe collection, became creative director of La Perla and is now CEO and co-owner of Elite World Group in New York City.
Despite the show facing some backlash from the Orthodox community, Haart says that her mission is solely to help women not feel the need to ask a man for permission. As CEO at Elite, Haart has rebranded the agency into a talent media company that encourages women to build their own brands, so that they can have full ownership over their careers and their lives.
“My only issue is with fundamentalism,” Haart previously told Variety. “I want to make it clear: I love being a Jew. This has nothing to do with Judaism and this has nothing with religion. I have learned very many beautiful things from my community and my religion, and I think that all religion is beautiful. I just don’t think it’s beautiful when you say men are better and women are worse.”
Haart told Variety that she wanted her show to be at Netflix because of the large global reach.
“This can apply in any country, any government, any institution that puts women down,” she said in an interview when the show premiered. “I hope that people from different countries and walks of life can watch this and connect to at in their own way,
“My Unorthodox Life” premiered this past July, and the first season is currently streaming on Netflix. Season 2 will feature more “fashion, family, female empowerment, faith, fabulousness, and of course, Haart,” according to Netflix.
Haart serves as an executive producer on the series along with Jeff Jenkins, Ross Weintraub and Reinout Oerlemans. The show hails from Jeff Jenkins Productions in association with 3BMG.