The Jewish-American experience can be many things, as proven by several of today’s popular shows, like ABC family sitcom The Goldbergs and intimate Netflix drama Unorthodox. Netflix’s latest offering in that mini-genre, in fact, may be the streamer’s latest reality hit, My Unorthodox Life, which sort of splits the difference: It’s a fun and funny but also considerate and caring look at what happens after one real-life woman chooses to leave her religiously strict life behind, while keeping ties to her family, her values and her beliefs.
As star Julia Haart says in the My Unorthodox Life trailer, “If there’s one thing you can say, it’s that we have a very interesting life.” And fans clearly agree, turning the show into a sleeper hit this summer. Keep reading to find out all about Haart and the hit series that’s turning her into a star.
Who is Julia Haart?
Today, the 50-year-old mom’s to-do list includes serving as creative director at luxury skivvies brand La Perla, running the Elite World Group modeling conglomerate (which reps famous folks like Kendall Jenner) as the company’s CEO, plus designing her own, namesake shoe line! (More on that below.)
But as fans of her Netflix series have come to learn, Haart has lived through what seems like several lives. She was born Julia Leibov in Russia in 1971, emigrated as a 3-year-old to Texas with her parents, eventually settled in the greater New York City area—where her parents started to immerse the family deeper into Orthodox Judaism—and got married at 19 to her first husband. She continued to live “in an extreme ultra-Orthodox Jewish community,” as she puts it in her Netflix series, raising her four kids in the Atlanta area, until she finally decided to leave that life behind because she felt one of her daughters was being pressured to conform to the community’s rules and mores just like she was.
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“They were doing to her what they had done to me — trying to push her down and mold her into that flat person that they could disappear,” Haart told The New York Times in July 2021. “I couldn’t let that happen. I literally packed my s*** and walked out the door with her.”
She gave herself the new surname Haart, as a tribute to her maiden name, Leibov, and the similar-sounding Hebrew word for “heart”: Liev.
If My Unorthodox Life leaves you wanting to know even more about Haart, she’s got a memoir slated to come out in 2022 titled Brazen: My Unorthodox Journey from Long Sleeves to Lingerie.
Who is Julia Haart married to?
Haart calls husband Silvio Scaglia Haart “an amazing man” in the My Unorthodox Life trailer, and we’d have to agree! Like Julia, he’s got a genius business mind with an impressive resumé to match: the 62-year-old, Swiss-born Italian entrepreneur has founded several companies, including the Italian telecommunications firm Fastweb.
Silvio’s weathered some bumps along the way, including fraud accusations back in 2010. (He was ultimately acquitted three years later.) In 2017, he separated from first wife Monica Aschei, who is also the mother of his three adult children.
Julia and Silvio met, of course, through work. As Julia told The New York Times, “He was the CEO [of La Perla]. So he was there a lot. The first year of our interaction was me yelling at him. I was horrible to him. But I had a lot of respect for him… And when I yelled at him, he took it like a man. That made me happy.”
When Silvio married Julia in 2019, he decided to buck tradition and take her last name.
Who is Julia Haart’s ex-husband?
Yosef Hendler appears on camera a few times during Season 1 of My Unorthodox Life, but even more importantly, Haart refuses to paint him as a bad guy.
Haart recently told Women’s Health that Hendler wound up getting totally on board with the idea of the reality show after some initial hesitations. “In the beginning, he wanted to make sure that we showed all sorts of different kinds of Jews [on the show],” she explained. “And once he saw that that was the whole purpose of this—it’s about unity and community and accepting each other even if you don’t agree with each other— and he thought it was a beautiful message.”
Is Julia Haart still Jewish?
Yes, and proudly so. On My Unorthodox Life, she’s frequently seen invoking Hebrew phrases and Jewish beliefs. Plus, as she told The New York Times, “My issues and the way that I was treated have nothing to do with Judaism. Judaism is about values and community and lovingkindness and beautiful things. I feel very proud to be a Jew. I believe in God. How could I not? This is a way to show people that there are all sorts of Jews.”
When did My Unorthodox Life premiere?
The show’s first season dropped on Netflix on Wednesday, July 14.
Will there be a My Unorthodox Life Season 2?
So far, there’s just one season, with no word yet on whether Season 2 is officially a go.
How many episodes in Season 1 of My Unorthodox Life?
The first season of My Unorthodox Life features nine episodes, each running about 35-45 minutes in length.
Is there a trailer for My Unorthodox Life?
Yes, and it offers tantalizing glimpses into all aspects of Haart’s high-flying life: her career, her marriage, her kids and more. (Also, we mean “high-flying” literally: The preview shows her getting around New York City via helicopter!)
What is Julia Haart’s net worth?
It’s been reported that Haart’s net worth is $3.5 million, which includes earning $400,000 a month from EWG.
Where to buy Julia Haart shoes
“Before I even left [my old life], I had started the concept of the shoe brand,” Haart told The New York Times about how she got her start in the world of luxury fashion. “And I had always worn high heels. So it made so much sense.” What didn’t make as much sense? How she managed to find investors—or, as she called them, “miracles.” As she explained to the Times, “I found investors in the craziest places. I found one investor at a restaurant. Second investor on an airplane. Third investor in an eye doctor’s office… I once said to them, what made you invest in me? One of them said, ‘Julia, you just looked like you wouldn’t fail, and we just trusted that.’”
Haart also said that her Julia Haart shoes helped her land her position at La Perla. “This guy in Hong Kong, he was on the board of La Perla; the women in his office had bought my shoes, and all they talked about was how comfortable they were,” she explained. “So he contacted La Perla, which had just gone through four creative directors. I had comfort and luxury. That’s what it was.”
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Who are Julia Haart’s children?
Haart’s four children have all practiced Judaism, but their experiences are still very different. During the making of My Unorthodox Life Season 1, oldest son Shlomo experiences his first kiss and admits he’s still a virgin.
Eldest daughter Batsheva Weinstein, 27, got married at 19 like her mom did, but unlike her mother, she’s still married to her first husband, Ben, who’s still relatively quite conservative. Throughout Season 1, Weinstein struggles with wanting an identity that incorporates both her religious and secular sides. (In fact, Julia reportedly left the Orthodox community just days after Ben and Batsheva’s wedding.)
Like many twentysomethings, Weinstein’s also an influencer, a Tiktok creator and a blogger (at her site Sunnies and Sangria). According to her LinkedIn, she graduated summa cum laude from the Fashion Institute of Technology and has also internet at and freelanced for La Perla.
Miriam—whose experiences years ago in the Haredi Orthodox community convinced Julia to leave—now lives as a young career woman and app developer and opens up on the show about identifying as bisexual. And youngest child, son Aron, admits that he’s not one to “loosen up” when it comes to religious rules like his older siblings.
Who else is in My Unorthodox Life?
Viewers are getting a big kick out of Robert Brotherton, who’s described on the show as Haart’s “right-hand man,” but on his LinkedIn profile, he uses the title of Chief Operating Officer at Elite Model World—although on Twitter, at least one fan described him as a real-life David Rose from Schitt’s Creek.
Is anyone watching My Unorthodox Life on Netflix?
I’m getting serious David Rose vibes from Robert. pic.twitter.com/kH5Cnvz3OO
— Claire Allan (@ClaireAllan) July 18, 2021
Brotherton tells his Haart at one point, “I feel like I’m part of your family, part of your life.” That sentiment could be inspired in part by the fact that Brotherton’s Season 1 storyline includes revealing that he was adopted and subsequently searching for his birth parents.
Watching My Unorthodox Life on Netflix was actually interesting. Hope Robert finds his birth person
— Anette N. MSW (@socialworkbaee) July 19, 2021
How to watch My Unorthodox Life
All nine episodes of My Unorthodox Life‘s first season are available to stream now on Netflix.
Next, Ryan Bernard answers all your burning Buried by the Bernards questions!