Join Torah at Amish Heritage Foundation's 2nd Annual Conference!
Columbia University, NYC
Saturday, November 16
Overturning Wisconsin v. Yoder: Making Education a Federal Right for All Children
Revised Second Edition! Get your Free chapters. . .
How far would you go for freedom, love, and safety?
The true story of an Amish girl who escaped in the middle of the night at age 15.
Less a book and more a confession from a close friend.
Riveting, inspiring, empowering.”
– Brian Young
Navajo Writer + Filmmaker
Her fierce determination to claim her story while simultaneously not giving up on her people is what saints are made of.
We Amish are lucky to have her.”
– Elam Zook
Amish Scholar + Writer
Statue of LibertyIn New York City
Amish FashionTraditional Amish Men and Women
Amish FarmsTraditional Amish Men
Traditionally, the Amish are farmers but because the Church doesn’t allow the use of tractors, they can’t compete with modern agriculture. Our farming traditions and knowledge are dying.
From the chapter, "A Car Crash and My First Funeral"An excerpt
A teenage boy lay in the open casket next to the bishop. During rumspringa—a period of time from age sixteen or seventeen until marriage—he’d bought a car and, after a night of drinking and partying, ended up killed in a crash.
“The world is the devil’s playground,” the preacher said. “This is what happens if you get a car.”
When the sermon, hymns, and prayers were over, the preacher sat down. Row after row, people in the barn filed past the casket and returned to their seat. The adults held their small children up and pointed when they got to the dead boy.
None of the Amish people in the front rows had tears on their faces. The longer I inspected their behavior, the more it seemed to me that the boy’s English friends really loved him and that maybe his Amish relatives didn’t care for him quite as much. Was he that bad if he had friends who cried in front of all the people?
This book is to let you know that you don’t have to be extraordinary to be Extraordinary.
– Torah Bontrager
An Amish Girl in Manhattan: Escaping at Age 15, Breaking All the Rules, and Feeling Safe Again (a memoir)
Torah’s story has been featured here:
1. Tim Ferriss‘ blog. Interview by New York Times & Wall Street Journal bestselling author Tim Ferriss of The 4-Hour Workweek, etc. “Escaping the Amish (Parts 1 & 2)”
4. MTV’s award-winning True Life documentary series. Episode “I’m Ex Amish”.
MTV’s True Life. “I’m Ex Amish” update (my story made the BRAVE category for the entire span of True Life’s 16-year history at the time). Video Clip
5. Unconventional Life Podcast by Jules Schroeder. Hosted on the Forbes Under 30 Channel. Episode 34: From Amish-Escapee to Author: How to Powerfully Leverage Your Personal Story