When the trailer for Netflix’s reality series My Unorthodox Life dropped on July 6, star Shlomo Hendler Haart took to Instagram. “I think my mom has it right when she says ‘we have a very interesting life!’” he wrote.
Indeed, he and his three siblings — Batsheva, Miriam, and Aron — grew up in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Monsey, New York. In 2012, his mother — Julia Haart — decided to leave. She’s since become a fashion mogul known for designing Kendall Jenner’s 2017 Met Gala dress; currently, she serves as the CEO of the global modeling agency Elite World Group.
After Julia left, Shlomo initially remained in Monsey with father Yosef Hendler. But he later joined his mom in New York City. My Unorthodox Life, which chronicles him and his family, shows Shlomo trying to balance his devout Jewish lifestyle while exploring some aspects of the modern world. He continues to observe Shabbat, but recently stopped wearing a kippah (or yarmulke), according to The New York Jewish Week.
Here’s everything else to know about Shlomo.
Shlomo’s Education & Job
In the series, Julia describes the poor education her children received in Monsey, while Shlomo explains he had to attend the local Rockland Community College before he was able to transfer to Columbia University in 2018. “I came to RCC with a very poor secular educational background,” he told the student publication Hillel Rockland. “One thing I did have was a goal — to get into Columbia. I joined the honors program and I worked very hard to improve my skills. I wasn’t ashamed to use the tutoring center, in fact I was there almost every day. I also was very involved with Hillel and the Friends of Israel Club, which gave me a good balance between my studies and being social. If you want to succeed, set a goal and work towards it, and make sure to have fun at the same time!”
Shlomo initially planned to declare a major in financial economics at Columbia, but changed course and earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science and government in April 2021. (According to Julia, he was the first student from his high school to go to college.) “Finally done!!! I’m so glad I was able to meet so many great people along the way!” Shlomo posted on Instagram. “One more chapter in my life complete, looking forward to the next one!!!”
Now, the new grad plans to attend law school, though it’s unclear when or where that may happen.
Shlomo doesn’t post on Instagram often, but when he does, it’s usually to share his international travels with his family. “It’s been [a] fantastic summer after traveling to France then Israel then to London and Cambridge and Manchester then to Santorini, Greece then Boston, Las Vegas then to LA then Palo Alto and San Francisco,” he wrote in 2017. “I would like to thank God and my family and friends for making it such a great summer!”
Shlomo also seems to be a bit of a daredevil. In July 2018, he went skydiving, and about six months later, he shared photos of “one of the craziest hikes/rides” he’s ever done on a snowboard in the Italian Alps. While chatting with his community college’s website, he also described scuba diving through caves in the Mediterranean around the same time. “If you’ve never been scuba diving, I encourage you to go,” he said. “There is a whole world waiting for you to explore.”
Shlomo is also apparently a skilled dancer, too. “While I don’t plan to pursue a career in dance, it’s definitely something I would like to continue doing when the occasion arises,” he added, noting he took a Latin dance at RCC.
Shlomo’s Dating Life
While filming My Unorthodox Life, Shlomo had his first kiss. “In the world I’m from, dating is meant for marriage,” he explains on the show. Although it’s unclear if he’s currently dating anyone, his mom is very open with her kids about sex. “Even at my most fundamentalist, when my children asked a question, I never lied,” she told Oprah Daily. “I always assumed that if they’re old enough to ask, they’re old enough to receive a proper answer.”