My vision + mission is to:
1. Re-brand the Amish (i.e., change how we Amish are perceived by the media and mainstream America)
2. Establish a new generation of Amish leaders who actively engage with the rest of the global community.
I work on behalf of ensuring the rights of the Amish and also holding them accountable when they break the laws that apply to every US citizen.
Torah Bontrager was born and raised Amish, growing up with no electricity, no TV, no radio, no cars, and at one point, no running hot water and no indoor bathroom. She learned how to grow her own veggies from heirloom seeds, raise animals for meat, hunt deer in the fall and forage for mushrooms, berries and plants in the wild.
Torah is the author of the book (a memoir) An Amish Girl in Manhattan: How to Turn Your Tragedies into Assets and Set Yourself Free by Breaking All the Rules (March 2017). She escaped from the Amish at age 15 and is the first Amish person to graduate from an Ivy League school: Columbia University in New York City with a BA in Philosophy and a focus on Tibetan Buddhism. You can find her on Facebook and www.TorahBontrager.com
When Torah was 11 years old, she consciously decided to leave the Amish church. After 4 years of planning and a failed first attempt, she literally escaped in the middle of the night at age 15. She loved learning and wanted to explore the world and experience all the things that the religion prohibited her from. Her dreams were to go to Harvard and outer space, “impossibles” given her background and rudimentary Amish education.
Eventually, after dropping out of college and traveling to around 20 countries, she returned to school and graduated from Columbia. She has always taken the roads less traveled, despite the challenges and obstacles, and continues to lead a colorful entrepreneurial life in honor of being herself.
I’d love to hear from you!
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Torah speaks English as a second language—her native tongue is Amish—and she believes that the best way to intimately understand a foreign culture, and learn more about oneself, is through the richness of its language. One of the greatest assets of her upbringing is being able to communicate effectively with non-native English speakers. She aspires to be a citizen of the universe and a steward of the planet.
Torah's 12-Minute Writing, Creativity + Productivity System
Want to write but don’t know where to start? Overwhelmed?
Out of suicidal desperation (yep), I created and used this process to successfully write my first book An Amish Girl in Manhattan (a memoir) and totally crush “Show, don’t Tell” (a classic fiction writing technique that no one in business uses enough in their books, blogs, and other material, which = lost $.)
This system was beta-tested and proven to work for others who are
- ADHD ENTREPRENEURS + EMERGING AUTHORS
- too busy to write
- secretly want to write a book or other emotionally compelling material.
Torah has been featured or quoted in: