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 When they think of Orthodoxy, words like backwards, repressed, outdated, sexist, and anti-scientific often come to mind. 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. Our mission? To break down stereotypes about religious Jews and offer a humorous, meaningful look into Orthodox Judaism. Jew in the City is reshaping the way society views Orthodox Jews and Judaism through social media, corporate cultural diversity training seminars, lectures, and consulting services. The JITC team 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.
To read about the impact Jew in the City is having on our readers, click here for our testimonials page.
Allison Josephs, Founder/Director, JITC
Allison Josephs has been involved in the field of Jewish Outreach for over fifteen years, 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, CNN, The Daily Beast, Huffington Post, and Yahoo News.
Allison has appeared on numerous television and radio networks including CBS, TLC, The Hallmark Channel, HuffPost Live, Associate Press TV, and NPR; her articles have appeared in numerous publications including the anthology Like Water on a Rock, The Washington Times, Kveller, and The Forward. She is a sought-after international lecturer whose corporate clients include Con-Edison and NYU Langone and hosts a weekly radio show on the Nachum Segal Network. 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.
Ami Feinstein, Director of Operations
Ami Feinstein comes to the role of Director of Operations for Jew In The City with a background as a consultant in social media, event planning, detail administration and promotions. With a B.A. in Communications from Boston University, she has worked at ad agencies such as Young & Rubicam and BBDO on accounts like Colgate-Palmolive, Cingular Wireless, Pepsi and more. Ami also runs The Tribe Athletics and Fitness, a boutique women-only gym in Nutley, NJ, which aims to “integrate fitness into life and life into fitness.” Ami is passionate about all that she does, especially being a mom and a wife. She lives with her husband and kids in Clifton, NJ.
Sara Levine, Editor-in-Chief
A former Hollywood script editor, Jerusalem event planner, non-profit fundraiser and professional blogger, Sara Levine is an accomplished writer and editor. After graduating from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, her first screenplay was well-received by story executives at major studios. As a journalist, her articles have been published internationally in popular magazines and websites. With over 18 years experience as a story consultant, her notes and critiques on novels and scripts have been used to select and improve material by top studios, networks, agencies and writers in Hollywood and beyond. She is currently at work on her first novel.
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. Working with Allison and the crew at JITC allows Elie to express his creative side and have a little fun with it. Action!
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.
Seth Feldman, JITC Media Consultant
Seth is a three-time Emmy-award winning television producer and a pioneer of Branded Entertainment and native video advertising. His expertise is developing, producing and disributing branded video content for broadcast, cable and digital distribution. Most recently he was Vice President of Branded Entertainment & Program Development at Meredith Video Studios, where he created The Better Show, which now airs on over 150 television stations Seth has developed close to 200 branded video programs for top tier brands including Kraft, KMART, Lowes, Wal-Mart, State Farm, P&G, Graco, Sears Kenmore, General Mills, Arm & Hammer, Purina & Chase. All told, he has 18 years of experience in news, reality, scripted and lifestyle programming. He has worked under some of the biggest names in television including Barry Diller and Mark Burnett.
Chaya Teitelbaum, Graphic Designer
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
Shoshana Mermelstein, Fashion Intern
Shoshana is currently a sophomore, studying in Stern College for Women. She is very passionate about fashion and shopping for tzanua clothing, so living in Midtown, Manhattan has helped her keep up with the latest fashion trends. She has made chessed a big part of her life by working at Camp HASC for the past three summers and is involved with the Stern volunteer committee. During her year in Israel, studying at Michlalah, she completed Aish HaTorah’s kiruv and leadership training program and is currently involved with NCSY. Her dream is to make an impact on the Jewish world and help people see the beauty of Judaism.
Chanie Waxler, Event Committee Chair
Chanie Waxler is the founder and CEO of Buds Designs, a full service, upscale wedding and event planning company. Chaniejoined the JITC team in 2013 and has put her unique touch on both the 2013 and 2014 Orthodox Jewish All Star events.Chanie’s attention to detail and cutting-edge style has enhanced not only events, but shabbatons and mailings as well. Chaniewas born, bred, and continues to live in Borough Park.
Shoshie Manela, Event Commitee Chair
Shoshie Manela, a professional makeup artist, is the founder and CEO of Make-It-Up Cosmetics, a high-end makeup and skincare line established in 2006. Growing up in a family that valued communal involvement and giving back, Shoshie combines her love for beautiful things with her passion to serve the Jewish community in her role as co-director of the JITC event committee. Hailing from Chicago, she currently lives in the Five Towns with her family.
Kit Englard, Radio Production Intern
Kit earned her BFA from Chatham University in 2015. She has been published in Minor Bird Literary Magazine, and has worked as a staff writer on the Communique newspaper. She also has articles published in The Odyssey, and was a featured reader at Rae Coffeehouse Reading Series. Her undergraduate research focus was on adolescents with disabilities, and their representation in Young Adult literature. She uses her experience writing on a variety of topics, and her love of building bridges within the Jewish community, to effectively communicate to the JITC audience. Along with interning with JITC, she is also working on her first novel.
Danny Moallem, Video Production Intern
Danny is currently a senior at Rutgers University, pursuing a BA in Journalism & Media Studies, and certification in Digital Filmmaking. In addition, he also shoots and edits promotional video content for various websites and small businesses. In his free time, he enjoys volunteering for the ComedyCures Foundation, a nonprofit that brings therapeutic comedy programs to people living with illness and depression. Since Jew in the City has been an integral part in Danny’s journey to becoming observant, he is so proud to be able to give back to this amazing organization.
Tracy Dalton, Booking and Administrative Manager
With a BA in Media Arts from the University of Arizona, Tracy’s extensive background in PR, event planning, marketing and social media helped bring her and Jew in the City’s worlds together last summer after she coordinated a JITC event for the Chicago area. As a member of the Jew in the City team who lives “out of town”, Tracy’s phone and email are often sizzling by the end of the day. The world has become a much smaller place and these simple yet amazing devices allow her to assist Allison and Jew in the City “as if they were in the same office”! Tracy is passionate about JITC’s mission and is beyond grateful to aid in bringing to fruition the Kiddush Hashem that is Jew in the City. Tracy will be made Aliyah in 2014 with her husband and young son.
Sara Hofstetter, Board Member
Sarah Hofstetter is the Global CEO of 360i, a firm which was named No. 2 on Ad Age’s Agency A-List this year as well as Mashable’s best Digital Agency of 2013. Before being elevated to CEO, Hofstetter was President of the agency, whose clients include Coca-Cola, Ben and Jerry’s, Oreo, Verizon and HBO. Since joining the agency in 2005, she has both created and evolved 360i’s brand strategy, social marketing and media practices. Hofstetter has won numerous industry honors, including being named to Ad Age’s “40 Under 40” for 2013 and CableFAX’s Digital Hot List. She has been honored as a “Social Media All-Star” by the Social Media Society and as one 2012’s Female Advertising Executives of the Year at The Stevie Awards. Prior to joining 360i, Hofstetter was president and founder of Kayak Communications, a marketing agency focused on developing brand strategy. Hofstetter is married and has a daughter and son.
Mayer Fertig, Board Member
Mayer Fertig is chief communications officer of the Orthodox Union. He has worked as a journalist, broadcaster and news executive since 1989. Previously he was senior director of media relations and public affairs at Yeshiva University, and publisher and editor-in-chief of The Jewish Star weekly newspaper on Long Island. Mayer co-founded Hatzalah of Union County, N.J. and volunteers as a substitute host of JM in the AM on WFMU and the Nachum Segal Network. Mayer and his wife Chani met at Brooklyn College, where he earned a degree in Broadcast Journalism. They have three children and reside in New Jersey.
Anne Neuberger, Board Member
Anne Neuberger is the Chief Risk Officer of the National Security Agency’s Commercial Solutions Center and a member of NSA’s Senior Leadership Team. Neuberger founded and runs Sister to Sister, a not for profit which provides a network of services for approximately 900 Jewish single mothers in 30 communities. She is also a board member of House of Ruth Maryland, which operates a domestic abuse shelter and other services for victim of domestic violence), and Stern College for Women.
Joyce Azria, Board Member
Joyce Azria is the Creative Director of BCBGeneration. In her five years leading the company, she has taken it to over a quarter billion dollars. BCBGeneration is sold in over two hundred locations—spanning across twenty-nine states. The brand has partnered with Lord & Taylor, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, and Dillard’s.
Rifka Wein Harris, Board Member
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