web analytics
August 27, 2014 / 1 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Changing Our Image for the Better


Allison Josephs' website Jewinthecity.com website educates about Orthodox Judaism.

Allison Josephs' website Jewinthecity.com website educates about Orthodox Judaism.

Note from Harry Maryles: I occasionally talk about Jewish heroes on this blog. I am proud to offer this guest post by one of the more quiet ones.

NCSY alumnus Allison Josephs (seen here with her “Partner in Torah” actress Mayim Bialik) is a unique individual. She is not a talker. She is a doer. Allison noticed a gaping hole in our image as Orthodox Jews. One created by – among other things – one Chilul HaShem after another that I often read about in the national and world media and report on here. We have been damaged by so many negative stories and bad apples that it has hurt our mission as “a light unto the nations”.

Some people have complained that I am one of the guilty parties on this front… that my blog carries more than its share of negativity. I must admit that a very large portion of my posts are negative. But that isn’t because I seek to throw mud on my own people. It is because I am trying to make us a better people.

Ignoring the bad just keeps the bad coming. Sweeping it under the carpet and not protesting it is almost tantamount to endorsing it. Shtika K’Hoda’ah. I would like nothing better than to post one positive story after another. Stories that inspire rather than demoralize. Believe it or not I look for such stories and when I find them I report on them.

Unfortunately there are more of the other kind of stories. But there are some very good people out there that seek to change how the world sees us and at least one person who seems to be doing a good job of it – Allison Josephs. She is doing something very unique that counters all the negativity in our world. But instead of my going on about it – I will let her do the talking. Her words follow.

Hello Emes Ve-Emunah readers! My name is Allison Josephs and five years ago I did something kind of crazy – I quit my jobs (I had two at that time and was the sole bread winner for our family and a mother of two while my husband was in law school) in order to attempt to start an online revolution. The problem: the perception of Orthodox Jews in the non-Orthodox and non-Jewish circles. The solution: a world wide Orthodox image makeover campaign, of course!

The truth, though, is that my degree was in Philosophy, not public relations, and my work experience was in Jewish outreach, not public relations! Fortunately, I’ve always had a flair for the dramatics, and right around this time, YouTube was getting popular. I noticed that the mainstream media basically only reported negative stories about religious Jews and that popular books, movies, and TV shows always depicted Orthodox Jews as over the top and extreme.

But with YouTube, *I* could tell the story myself. I’m a ba’alas teshuva and although the religious Jewish world is far from perfect, living a life imbued with Torah wisdom and observance gives my existence purpose. I was a child who despite having a very happy secular upbringing, spent years searching for the meaning of life and I was delighted to find such gems within my own heritage.

As soon as I discovered the beauty and depth of Torah living and learning, I wanted to share the information with every other Jew on the planet. (I started with my own family, who are all observant today.) Rejecting something with knowledge is one thing, but most Jews in the world today have essentially rejected a life of Jewish observance with very little book or experiential knowledge.

I had seen a YouTube show called “lonelygirl15″ about a teenage girl who brought the viewers into her life through the medium of online videos. Being on YouTube, I saw, essentially gives the viewer a sense of “meeting” the person who’s on the screen. I noticed how when people meet nice, normal Orthodox Jews, the stereotypes just naturally get broken down. Having every person in the world personally meet an Orthodox Jew would of course be impossible. There aren’t very many of us and we tend to live in only certain cities.

But if one Orthodox Jew could make a video that could be watched in every corner of the planet – well then a religious Jewish person and personality could be spread as far as the internet could reach. So I started a YouTube show called “Jew in the City” as I asked myself “who am I?” And the answer was “a Jew in the city.” The show developed into a blog (at JewintheCity.com) which features the videos, articles, and Q&A’s.

We just finished our fifteenth video, have gotten a decent amount of coverage in the Jewish press and have even slowly, slowly gotten some attention in the mainstream media. And the results are just as I believed they would be – as soon as the “scary, black and white clothed” “bearded” “unfriendly” image of the stereotypical Orthodox Jew is broken down and people see a laid back, young Orthodox Jewish woman with a voice and a lot of opinions, the desire to explore traditional Judaism is being awakened in so many viewers.

JITC’s videos and articles have covered topics like science vs. Torah, the myth about the hole in the sheet, mikvah, homosexuality, and much more. We now have a team of interns who are helping to spread this information as far as possible. But an Orthodox image makeover campaign need not only be accomplished through JITC. Each and every one of us can do our part to break down stereotypes about Orthodox Jews in our daily lives.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Changing Our Image for the Better”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Binyamin and Chaya Maryles, uncle and aunt of Emes Ve-Emunah author Harry Maryles.
Current Top Story
IDF soldiers examine fragments from a rocket that landed near Kibbutz El Rom, fired from Syria on July 14, 2014.
IDF Soldier Wounded in Syrian Mortar Fire on Golan Heights
Latest Blogs Stories
Islamic Law

Israel is fighting the war that none of the Western world has the ability or courage to fight.

netanyahu-phone.jpg

Finish the job! Sayyem et a missima!סיים את המסימה!

Doug Goldstein

Life after 50? You better believe it! Tips on how to prepare and enjoy life after retirement.

Ariel Sharon on a visit to Gush Katif in 2001, before he decided to destroy it.

While I am no fan of the two-state solution, I think I have a solution for the Gaza strip. Let me make it perfectly clear that in no way do I believe a Palestinian people, nation or Arab State ever existed in the history of the world and certainly was not occupied by Israel. If […]

Hamas targeted the Erez Crossing when it knew that Gazans and Israeli Arabs would be there, out in the open…

Does it really take Jewish innovation to come up with this idea?

If you don’t know who’s behind The terror in your mind The answer’s not hard to find, Blame the Jews

If feminism is mentioned at all, it is usually to condemn it as an anti Torah ideal.

“…people making jokes about turning this into a shelter rave, taking #bombshelterselfies…”

Marriage is not just about emotional fidelity but about financial fidelity as well.

So you want to blame Israel? First answer these 5 simple questions, and see if you even have a leg to stand on…

Hamas’s online Jihadi supporters and groupies are desperately trying to differentiate between their support for Hamas and supporting ISIS.

We all got degrees. We got married. We had families. We worked. We and were Koveih Itim

But the real culprit is William Schabas, who by comparison makes Richard Goldstone look like a saint

“The Jewish board of deputies, who are complicit, will feel the wrath of the People of SA with the age old biblical teaching of an eye for an eye.”

Discussion on recent changes to Social Security benefits and how it will effect you.

More Articles from Allison Josephs
Allison Josephs' website Jewinthecity.com website educates about Orthodox Judaism.

Rejecting something with knowledge is one thing, but most Jews in the world today have essentially rejected a life of Jewish observance with very little book or experiential knowledge.

Allison Josephs

By now everyone has heard of Deborah Feldman’s Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots. The book received much more attention than it should have.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/changing-our-image-for-the-better/2012/09/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: