My Unorthodox Life: Inside the Netflix reality show

3 August 2021, 10:54 | Updated: 3 August 2021, 11:23

My Unorthodox Life
My Unorthodox Life is available to watch on Netflix. Picture: Netflix

By Jenny Mensah

My Unorthodox Life is one of the shows trending on the streaming platform, but who is Julia Haart and her family and what is their story? Find out more here.

My Unorthodox Life, which follows the life of fashion designer and entrepreneur Julia Haart, is gripping Netflix audiences all over the world.

The series has all the glitz and glamour we've come to expect from a reality TV show, but also sees Haart and her family share the consequences of her leaving her strict Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in 2013.

But how much of the reality show is real and why is it so controversial? Find out more about the show and its main characters here.

Is My Unorthodox Life real?

Yes, My Unorthodox Life, which is pays homage to the 2020 Netflix drama, follows the real-life story of Julia Haart, who left her Orthodox Jewish Haredi community in 2013 and became a fashion designer and entrepreneur. However, there as some who believe it doesn't accurately reflect the Orthodox Jewish community, with many in the Jewish faith criticising her portrayal and questioning the validity of some of her claims.

Who is Julia Haart and how old is she?

Julia Haart is a 50-year-old American fashion designer and entrepreneur. She is the CEO of Elite World Group, which she co-owns with her husband Silvio Scaglia. Previously she owned her own shoe collection, which was named after her, and she became a creative director at La Perla after they bought her brand.

Haart was born on 11 April 1971 in Russia and moved to Austin Texas with her parents when she was three. She attended a school where she was the only Jewish pupil. When she was in the fourth grade, her family moved to Monsey, New York, where there is a large Haredi community. From there her family grew more and more religious. She attended Bais Yaakov Academy in Brooklyn, New York and at 16 she taught herself how to sew and smuggled fashion magazines into her house. At 18 she changed her first name to Talia, in order to attract a match because it was more Hebrew sounding and by 19 she married her first husband, a yeshiva student five years older than her.

While living as a Haredi Jew, she became increasingly uncomfortable with her community and her surroundings and the treatment of her younger daughter Miriam (who wanted to sing, play sport and who ultimately came out as bisexual) acted as a catalyst for change. Haart revealed she dealt with mental health issues at the time and felt suicidal, but also worried about the stigma of suicide in her community and how it would effect her children's marriage prospects.

In 2013, she left the Haredi community and took on the name Julia Haart. Her surname is inspired by her maiden name Leibov, which is similar to the Hebrew word for "heart", Leiv.

In 2019, she married Silvio Scaglia, who she now co-owns her talent media company, Elite World Group, with.

What is Julia Haart worth?

Julia Haart is believed to be worth over $500 million.

When did Julia leave her Orthodox Jewish life?

Julia Haart left behind her life in the Haredi community in 2013.

How did Julia Haart and her second husband Silvio Scaglia meet?

Silvio and Julia met through their tenure at luxury lingerie and fashion brand La Perla. Silvio's SMS Finance firm won a bid to acquire the brand with an offer of 69 million Euros in 2013 and after Julia collaborated with them for a Spring and Fall 2016 accessory collection, she then joined the fashion house as creative director. It was then that their love blossomed.

By 2019 they were married, becoming life partners and business partners. The 62-year-old Italian made Julia CEO of his company and also decided he wanted to take on her last name, which she took on after leaving the Haredi community.

How old is Miriam?

Julia's youngest daughter Miriam is 21-years-old. She willingly followed Julia fully into her secular life and reveals her bisexual identity early on in the show.

How old is Batsheva?

Batsheva is the eldest daughter of Julia Haart and is 28 years old. She is married to Ben Weinstein, and both still observe many of their Jewish practices. Of all the characters in the show, save Julia's youngest son Aron, the couple are on the more traditional side. Bastsheva and Ben married when Julia was still a part of the Haredi community and the show sees them struggling with some of the choices Julia has made. She refers to herself as "Modern Orthodox".

How old is Shlomo?

Shlomo is Julia Haart's older son and he is 25-years-old.

How old is Julia's son Aron?

Aron is 15 years old and he is the only one of Julia's children to not have followed her into a more secular life. He currently splits his time between Miriam and her ex husband's home in Momsey.

Where is Monsey?

Monsey is a hamlet in the town of Ramapo, Rockland County, New York, United States. It is located north of Airmont, east of Viola, south of New Hempstead, and west of Spring Valley. The hamlet has a large and growing community of Orthodox Jews.

My Unorthodox Life is available to watch on Netflix

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