footsteps-logoFootsteps is a New York-based organization that helps people from the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community leave this insular way of life. Most leave with a limited knowledge of English (Yiddish is the primary language spoken in the home and in school). Many have only received a religious education and do not have a high school diploma. Most of their clientele recently has been men between the ages of 18 and 24, but they have seen an increase in women also leaving the community to escape abuse or obtain further education. When they leave, they leave their spouses and children behind. Support from FBB members will help Footsteps in a restructuring project to shift from being a service-based to a community-based organization. While their clients value the services they receive (education, job training, job placement, housing assistance, etc.), they overwhelmingly pointed out that it was the community that is created by Footsteps that gave them strength and comfort. Footsteps’ plans include opening their center more frequently, creating a leadership committee to work on community building, and adding clients to the board of directors.