web analytics
September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
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



The Jew Behind Jew In The City

Allison Josephs being interviewed at Jew in the City’s second annual “Top 10 Orthodox Jewish All-Stars” awards evening.
(Photo credit: Elan Kornblum/Great Kosher Restaurants)

Allison Josephs being interviewed at Jew in the City’s second annual “Top 10 Orthodox Jewish All-Stars” awards evening. (Photo credit: Elan Kornblum/Great Kosher Restaurants)

Filling two vacuums at once – one of Orthodox women taking a more public role and a second of Modern Orthodox Jews demonstrating the merits of religious Jewish practice – Allison Josephs has transformed her sweet and engaging webisodes and blog into a larger force. Jew in the City is now a franchise.

This heightened prominence was on full display two weeks ago when Jew in the City hosted its second annual “Top 10 Orthodox Jewish All-Stars” awards evening, this time at Lincoln Square Synagogue in Manhattan.

In attendance were some of the current crop of all-stars like Issamar Ginzberg, a prominent marketing guru, and Sarah Hofstetter, who was promoted last month to CEO of the advertising firm 360i, as well as some of last year’s all-stars like celebrity chef Jamie Geller and members of the a capella group Maccabeats.

After the festivities The Jewish Press caught up with Josephs for some questions.

The Jewish Press: The celebration on Sunday was beautiful and well attended – kind of a coming-out moment, or perhaps another in a line of moments. Would that be the way you view these celebrations – as a statement that you’ve arrived?

Allison Josephs: Thank you. Last year, because it was the first year we did such a party, was a feeling of arriving. This year felt more like we’re getting bigger and better. It felt more like the crazy things I dreamed could be possible – getting media attention that Orthodox Jews can have fun, live out their dreams, and be “normal” – is actually happening. We had a CNN reporter at the event and I was interviewing Sarah Hofstetter, one of our all-stars, about how she breaks down stereotypes about Orthodox Jewish women in corporate America as the CNN reporter’s camera was rolling. And as it was all happening, it felt surreal.

The ethos of the party seemed to follow that of Jew in the City’s – that Orthodoxy is not limiting and not monolithic. Thus, there was an Orthodox DJ playing “kosher” music, a full wine and cheese section, etc.

We wanted the party to be both frum and fabulous. We made sure to invite a range of people, from chassidim to Sephardic to Chabad to modern to non-Orthodox. And we wanted it to feel like the place to be, but also to remember that we have a message and a purpose.

Is an Orthodox Jewish all-star a contradiction in terms?

Not in my mind. Yosef was probably the first Orthodox Jewish all-star, Rambam another. There are different models within Torah Judaism and if someone chooses to partake of the world less, I have no problem with that. But for the people who want to be a part of the world, inasmuch as it’s kosher, why shouldn’t we encourage people to be themselves? Quashing dreams doesn’t often lead to the most positive feelings for Hashem. And in terms of reaching out to the non-observant, we want them to know that should they want to explore their heritage more deeply, they need not sacrifice their professional success – for most industries, not all.

As you become more well known, and as you throw more of these events, you increasingly move front and center. Is that difficult for you personally? And is it difficult to balance that with your own sense of tznius?

As people start to treat me differently, I feel weird. I’ve been stopped on the street for photographs, asked for autographs. I kind of want to tell these people, “Hey there, I’ve got a secret – I’m actually just a regular person!”

The funny thing is that as a kid I dreamed of being famous. It’s one of the major goals of the secular world. Be in the spotlight. Have cameras on you. Did you ever notice how people rubberneck when there’s a camera crew around? There’s nothing terribly deep or meaningful about it. It just means that you “matter.”

About the Author: Shlomo Greenwald is associate editor of The Jewish Press.


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 “The Jew Behind Jew In The City”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Along the Israel-Syrian border.
Jihadist Threat Rising on Israel’s Northern Border
Latest Indepth Stories
0.5-Shekel-hatasham-RJP

The War projects to lower Israel’s 2014 GDP 0.5% but will have little influence on foreign investors

The_United_Nations_Building

It is in the nature of the Nations of the World to be hostile towards the Jewish People.

champions

Hamas and Islamic Jihad are actually fighting to “liberate Jerusalem and all Palestine.”

IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz reviewing maps on the Golan Heights.

The bad news is that ISIS and Al Qaeda are on the Syrian Golan. The good news is that every terrorist in Syria is killing each other.

The congregants, Ethiopians spanning generations, were beaming with joy and pride.

The withdrawal from the Gaza Strip nine years ago did not enhance Israel’s security.

How does a soldier from a religious home fall in love with a soldier from a non- religious kibbutz?

In 19th century entire ancient Jewish communities fled Palestine to escape brutal Muslim authorities

Responsibility lies with both the UN and Hamas, and better commitments should have been demanded from both parties in the ceasefire.

But the world is forever challenging our Jewish principle and our practices.

If this is how we play the game, we will lose. By that I mean we will lose everything.

Reportedly, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have formed a bloc that seeks to counter Islamist influence in the Middle East.

One wonders how the IDF could be expected to so quickly determine the facts.

While there is no formula that will work for everyone, there are some strategies that if followed carefully and consistently can help our children – and us – gain the most from the upcoming school year.

More Articles from Shlomo Greenwald
Israeli flag

Israel’s morality is underscored by its unprecedented restraint and care for loss of life.

book-journey-of-faith

With Journey of Faith in front of you during the shul’s leining, or at home on a long Shabbos afternoon, you’ll enjoy worthy insights and see the entire sefer anew.

How political movements gain footholds remains one of the great true-life mysteries.

Filling two vacuums at once – one of Orthodox women taking a more public role and a second of Modern Orthodox Jews demonstrating the merits of religious Jewish practice – Allison Josephs has transformed her sweet and engaging webisodes and blog into a larger force. Jew in the City is now a franchise.

All the books reviewed in this supplement can serve as great gifts; the books reviewed briefly below do as well.

While we know a lot about our greatest forebears from the Chumash and later biblical generations, even if there are often gaps in their life stories, we know considerably less about the Sages of the Mishnah (the Tennaim) and of the Gemara (the Amora’im), collectively known as Chazal – our Sages, of blessed memory.

Zakheim frequently used his access to ambulances and helicopters to transfer sick or injured individuals to hospitals.

You’ll never get anything you need or want if you don’t ask. You have to ask the questions.

Treasure this advice, because it’s one of the best you’ll get in life. At times it’s thorny and complicated to ask another for something – what if he says no and your request is rebuffed. Rejection is hard to take. And what if you’re imposing or the requestee has a hard time saying no? But you’ll also never get a “yes” without first asking.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/the-jew-behind-jew-in-the-city/2013/12/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: