Hi, I’m Allison Josephs. People call me “Jew in the City,” but Jew in the City is so much more than one person! Allow me to introduce you to our mission and all the wonderful people who dedicate their time and efforts behind the scenes to make Jew in the City what it is!
JITC Mission Statement
Unfortunately, most non-Orthodox Jews and non-Jews have a very negative perception of Orthodox Jews and Judaism. When they think of Orthodoxy, they think things like backwards, repressed, outdated, sexist, and anti-scientific. Scandals that reinforce these misconceptions hit the papers all too often. Popular movies, books, and TV shows repeat negative stereotypes about religious Jewish people and their lifestyles. (The hole in the sheet, anyone?)
This is the battle that Jew in the City has been fighting since 2007. Through YouTube videos, blogs, Q&A’s, and articles in traditional print media, Jew in the City (through its founder, Allison Josephs and a group of volunteers) publicizes the message that Orthodox Jews can be funny, approachable, educated, pro-women and open-minded—and that Orthodox Judaism links the Jewish people to a deep and beautiful heritage that is just as relevant today as it ever was.
Allison Josephs, Founder/Director, JITC
Allison has been involved in the field of Jewish Outreach for over a dozen years, teaching and lecturing, working at Partners in Torah, Sinai Retreats, and NCSY, and is the Partner in Torah mentor to actress Mayim Bialik. She was named one of NJOP’s Top Ten Jewish Influencers in 2012 and was one of the Jewish Week’s 36 under 36 in 2013. Allison has been quoted or written about in numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The Daily Beast, Huffington Post, and Yahoo News.
Allison has been interviewed on television and radio, including programs such as “What Not To Wear,”Associate Press TV, and NPR; her articles have appeared in numerous publications including the newly released anthology Like Water on a Rock, The Washington Times, The Jewish Press, and The Forward. She has also written articles and directed and produced videos for Aish.com and lectures around the country and on WebYeshiva. She received her Bachelor in Arts from Columbia University in Philosophy and lives with her husband and four children minutes from the George Washington Bridge.
For publicity inquiries, information about volunteering for Jew in the City, and other questions, contact email@example.com.
Leah Rothstein, Director of Marketing and Operations
Leah has been working for Jew in the City since October 2009. Leah believes in using the power of the internet as a vehicle for good, such as breaking down stereotypes and increasing awareness of Judaism and Torah. She works as a freelance journalist and internet marketer. With a BA in history from Barnard College, Leah is always busy with new projects, discovering interesting facts, and studying languages. You can contact her for any inquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Esther Nove, Graphic Designer
Esther is a graphic designer and illustrator who has a wide range of capabilities and over 12 years of experience in design and advertising, a keen eye for detail and a wide view of the big picture. Esther does pro-bono work for non-profits, fast-paced projects for startups, full-blown campaigns and everything in between. Her experience includes working at a large, integrated ad agency, small and medium design firms and freelancing. She can also be found baking organic banana muffins with her 3 wonderful kids.
Rabbi Jack Abramowitz, Educational Correspondent
Jack Abramowitz is the editor of OU Torah www.ou.org/torah. Among the many educational initiatives he has created over the years are the Orthodox Union’s Nach Yomi – a daily chapter of study followed by thousands worldwide – and NCSY’s “Torah on One Foot” series. He is the author of five books, including The Tzniyus Book and The Taryag Companion.
Henia Stein, Administrative Assistant
Henia has been working with JITC since October 2009 and is the author of Why My Father Ran (her father’s holocaust story) as well as numerous articles including “Lessons from a Homeless Man”. She is co-writing a book on Poetry and Short Stories as well as completing work on a children’s book. In her spare time, she volunteers as a leader for a Jewish Cub Scout Pack, Boy and Girl Scout Troop. Henia holds a BA in Sociology and is married to Russ.
Tamar Annenberg, Intern
Tamar spent a year studying in Michlalah in Israel and now is a freshman in Queens College.She spent a few years tutoring in a Hebrew school and is interested in Jewish outreach, marketing, and writing.
Rachel Minkoff, Intern
Rachel is from East Meadow, New York. and has a Bachelors of the Arts in History from Yeshiva University. She is currently attending Wurzweiler School of Social Work for her Masters. Ever since she discovered the many different facets of social media she has enjoyed working with them and loves how interning for Jew in the City has made it possible to link her Jewish heritage and her love of the internet together.
Talia Lakritz, Intern
Talia hails from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and currently attends Barnard College in New York. Name a form of creative expression and there’s a good chance she’s involved in it, whether it’s video-blogging on Youtube, writing songs at the piano, or dancing in Shalhevet, the Israeli dance troupe of Barnard/Columbia. A longtime fan of “Jew in the City,” Talia is thrilled to be part of this wonderful team.
David Khabinsky, Video Production Intern
David is a Junior in Yeshiva University, currently pursuing a Jewish Studies Degree. He has been involved in theatre all his life and loves working both behind the scenes as well as on stage. Born in Israel, David strongly believes in getting the right message out there about Judaism. In his spare time, David enjoys reading articles about technology, science, and history.
Shoshana Raff, Website
Shoshana Raff, the founder/president of Raff Business Consulting, is a Business Coach helping business owners define their strategy and marketing plan, organize and streamline their business processes, advise, guide and help make businesses more successful. Shoshana also designs and develops websites (she is responsible for JITC’s new website), and is an internet marketing and social media expert.
Chaya Teitelbaum, Graphic Designer / Creative Consultant
Chaya is the founder and creative director of Teitel Creative. With close to 10 years of experience in design and marketing Chaya combines her knowledge, inspiration and keen eye for detail to provide custom design solutions along with the highest levels of customer service in the industry. Chaya’s obsession with logo design and deep understanding of branding and identity development makes her the go-to designer for any startup.
Elie Gabor, Director of Video/Photography
Elie is the Creative Director and owner of Elie Creative LLC. With a dual degree in film and photography from The Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, and over 14 years of photography and video production experience behind him, Elie has produced work for numerous organizations including NBC, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Aish.com, and even the Maccabeats! Elie also enjoys creating stories from precious moments in people’s lives: engagements, weddings, brit milot (circumcisions), and so much more. Working with Allison and the crew at Jew in the City allows Elie to express his creative side and have a little fun with it. Action!
Mayer Fertig, Advisor
Mayer Fertig is chief communications officer of the Orthodox Union. He is a journalist, broadcaster and news executive in the NY-NJ area since 1989. Until January 2013 he was senior director of media relations and public affairs at Yeshiva University. Before that he was publisher and editor-in-chief of The Jewish Star, a Long Island weekly newspaper covering the Orthodox community. Mayer met his wife Chani at Brooklyn College, where he earned a degree in Broadcast Journalism. They have three children. Mayer co-founded Hatzalah of Union County, N.J., serving the Elizabeth-Hillside community where the family resides.
Michael Feldstein, Advisor
Michael Feldstein received his M.B.A. from New York University, and is involved in the online and direct mail marketing at Boardroom Inc., a direct marketer of books and newsletters. Mr. Feldstein has extensive experience in helping Jewish organizations with their marketing, advertising, and public relations. He has volunteered for both the Orthodox Union and YUConnects in planning singles programming for them. He lives in Stamford, CT, and currently chairs a community growth initiative that has successfully attracted many young Modern Orthodox couples to relocate to Stamford.
Rifka Wein Harris, Advisor
Rifka Wein Harris was educated in the Orthodox Bais Yaakov school system. She went on to earn her B.A. at Brooklyn College, and then a J.D. and a Masters in Taxation from the New York University School of Law. After clerking for a federal judge, she practiced tax law for 12 years at several major law firms. Now retired from the law, she organizes communal projects for various not for profit organizations. She is also an artist and sculptor who works in clay and metal. She lives with her husband and four young daughters in New York City.
Allison Josephs, founder and director of Jew in the City, is a bright new star in the Orthodox world. Her enthusiasm for Torah living is infectious. I’ve consistently been impressed with the way she handles and explains some of the most sensitive topics within Orthodoxy, like family planning, homosexuality, conversions, and more.
-Rabbi Steven Weil, Executive Vice President of the OU
I just wanted to say that you are doing an incredible job! Keep up your amazing work! I just posted your website on my facebook!
-Rabbi Avraham Lehr, Chabad rabbi of the Chai Center
Allison Josephs, founder and director of Jew in the City, has an unusual gift of an ability to explain and clarify Torah concepts analytically yet humorously, genuinely yet non- threateningly, deeply yet refreshingly, and perhaps most important of all, non-apologetically. She has created an entire niche through her online posts and videos. Though Jew in the City’s mission is to break down stereotypes about Orthodox Jews to the non-Orthodox Jewish world, I personally believe that the Orthodox world can also greatly benefit from Jew in the City: the Modern Orthodox, the unlabeled uninspired Orthodox Jew, and even, and perhaps especially, Yeshiva and Bais Yaakov students and graduates who do not really understand what they are doing. Her work is remarkably good, and my hope is that she continues writing these posts and making these videos, as they are undoubtedly helping many people, helping the Jewish people, and creating a Kiddush HaShem.
-Rabbi Chaim Malinowitz, editor of the Artscroll Talmud