Being Different Being Attacked

Alan J. Schwarz
4 min readAug 25, 2022

Being an Ultra Orthodox Jew could put a person at risk

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I worry a lot about my family being attacked. There’s eight of them and I worry every day. There’s my Nephew and his wife and their six children. They are the greatest people I know and I fear for their safety.

A few years ago my Nephew discovered his passion for Judaism and began the climb to Ultra Orthodoxy. He was the first one in our family to embrace the rules and regulations of Orthodox Jewry and the commitment he and his family have made to the faith is beyond words. I am humbled and impressed by their devotion and dedication to our religion. My Nephew knows more about the words of the Torah than I could ever dream of knowing.

It at times still seems hard to reconcile the fact that the Superstar hockey player, who won a Gold Medal for his academic achievements in Business School became a Haredi or Ultra Orthodox Jew. He would chide me for saying Ultra Orthodox as he just considers himself Jewish.

When he was graduating from Business School he made the decision to move to Israel. There he met a fantastic woman and together they have made a gorgeous family. Five boys and one irrepressible girl. They live in a religious community and I have total respect for them.

My Nephew has put his business degree to good use and he has built a great life for his family by not only being a tremendous father but also a businessman. He has a wry sense of humour and is off the charts smart. His wife is caring, loving and devoted to her family and our faith. It is a pretty idyllic existence for them. Almost utopian except for one thing, the outside world who look at them differently.

My Nephews all have payahs or long strands of side hair that goes down the side of their faces. They have short hair cuts on the top as the style of their community. The trouble is outside of their community they look very different and different sometimes means trouble.

I read articles all the time about Ultra Orthodox Jews in New York and other places being attacked because of the garb they wear or their looks. It is troubling and scary.

When my Nephew and his family recently came to Toronto for a visit, Thank Gd there was no issues. I am beyond grateful for that. My…



Alan J. Schwarz

Alan Schwarz loves life. He is the founder of JAMS Productions, a television production company based in Toronto . His passion is writing.