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OTD: Leaving Religion

In order to understand why some people leave religion, we need to understand why people join and stay in the first place. Religion provides different things for different people, including community, moral, and intellectual guidance. The broad stereotyping of OTD people that sometimes happens isn’t helpful or accurate. It is a complex phenomenon with no surefire solutions, and so the first step is understanding.

OTD: Our Central Questions

1. Leaving, Entering, and the Religious Journey: What can religious people learn from why people leave religion? 

2. Understanding OTD: Why do people choose to leave religious life?

3. OTD and the Family: How can we best engage with those that left?


David introduces the next series of the 18Forty Podcast: why people join and leave religion and what we can learn from their decisions.
In this episode of the 18Forty Podcast, David discusses with special guest and former member of the Ultra-Orthodox community, Shulem Deen, the struggle and importance of balancing one’s individual needs with those of the community.
In this episode of the 18Forty podcast, David invites a man who goes by the pseudonym Philo Judaeus – former member of the Orthodox Jewish community and moderator of the ambitious Frum/OTD Dialogue Facebook group – to discuss the intersection of philosophy and religiosity.
In this episode of the 18Forty podcast, David sits down with Kelsey Osgood, author of How to Disappear Completely: On Modern Anorexia, contributor to the New Yorker’s Culture Desk blog, and perpetuator of Jewish thought. From a self-proclaimed young tyrant of atheism to a Jewish convert from Christianity, Kelsey shares her valuable perspective on the attraction and limitations of being “twice-born.”
As we challenge the stereotype of those who leave religion, we can begin to understand on a deeper level why some choose to leave, why some choose to stay, and how a third option of existing in the moment with doubts and uncertainty is also okay.
In this episode of the 18Forty Podcast, we sit down for a special session with our host, David Bashevkin, to discuss one of the podcast’s first topics: going off the derech.