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Mayim Bialik’s Journey to Jewish Observance With The Help of Jew in the City


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One of my favorite shows from my tween and early teenage years was Blossom. The lead character, for which the show was named, was a smart, slightly nerdy, goody-goody around my age and was played by Jewish actress, Mayim Bialik. (We had loads in common, except for the fact that NBC had already given her a show, and I was still waiting to be discovered!) I watched Blossom every week for the five years that it was on and then didn’t give Mayim or Blossom much thought until one evening in 2002, seven years after it was off the air.

I was bored that night, randomly surfing online, and I suddenly wondered: “Whatever happened to Mayim Bialik?” So I googled her and saw from an article that she was a student at UCLA  and getting more interested in Judaism. “I bet she’ll love Partners in Torah!” I said to myself. (Partners in Torah is a Jewish organization that sets up free telephone learning partnerships for Jews with limited knowledge who want to learn more.) I had just started working there a few months earlier and thought it was the greatest thing in Jewish education since sliced challah!

So I attempted to cold-call Mayim and invite her to join the program, but after googling her some more, I realized that celebrities don’t give out their numbers to the public, lest crazy people, like me, call them up and offer them things like free Torah-telephone-learning-partners!

In 2006, Mayim Bialik and I got connected in a most incredible way. Through our learning through Partners in Torah, Mayim’s and my life were immeasurably changed.

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  1. I would like to know more about your organization.
    Shalom

    • Allison Josephs Allison Josephs : December 17, 2019 at 3:40 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Paula. It was created to confront those stereotypes Mayim speaks of. Over time, we met people who grew up in negative Orthodox situations and for them, it wasn’t stereotypes. It was real experiences. Not Torah. But Orthodox Jews behaving badly and calling it Torah. So to answer that call, we established a division called Project Makom which helps people raised with bad experiences in the Charedi world find a positive place in the religious Jewish community. So we educate people both online and in person with Makom.

  2. Troy Heffernan : January 21, 2020 at 9:35 pm

    EXELLENT! I am one contemplating “converting” to Judaism. This website is a blessing! MAZEL TOV!

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