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New York, NY - Jew In The City: Orthodox Jewish Professionals Hailed at Manhattan Awards Ceremony (VIN News Video Interview)

Published on: November 25, 2013 01:23 PM
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Pictured Allison Josephs of Jew in the City organizer and founder of the annual Orthodox Jewish All Star awards event at the Lincoln Square Synagogue on Nov. 24, 2013.(Shmuel Lenchevsky/VINnews.com)New York - An Orthodox Nobel Laureate, a Chasidic woman filmmaker and an Orthodox member of President Obama’s cabinet were among those named as Orthodox Jewish All Stars Sunday night at a unique awards ceremony designed to cast the spotlight on successful Orthodox professionals.

The event, timed to coincide with the rare overlap of Thanksgiving and Chanukah, was created by Allison Josephs of Jew in the City , a blog dedicated to showcasing the accomplishments of Orthodox Jews and defuse the notion that being a practicing, Orthodox Jew is antithetical to having a vibrant, flourishing career.

This year’s honorees included a diverse group of individuals including United States Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, National Security Agency Director of Commercial Solutions Center Chani Neuberger, Nobel Laureate Robert Aumann,  Sara Hofstetter, CEO of one of the fastest growing advertising agency in the U.S. 360i, Dr. Laurel Steinherz, director of pediatric cardiology at Memorial Sloan Kettering and co-founder of Camp Simcha, Joseph Shenker, chairman of Sullivan & Cromwell, the 3rd largest law firm in the United States, Naama Shafir, the first Orthodox professional female basketball player, Ari Pinchot, a Yeshiva University graduate who is the producer of award winning documentaries and marketing guru Issamar Ginzburg. 


Also recognized for her achievements was Rama Burshtein, the Chasidic female writer, director and producer of the Sony Pictures film Fill the Void, which tells the story of a Chasidic girl and was critically acclaimed by the New York Times, CBS News, The Huffington Post and L.A. Times.

Over 150 people turned out at the Lincoln Square Synagogue in Manhattan for the second annual Orthodox Jewish All Star awards, which also featured a mini bone marrow drive for the Gift of Life Foundation.

“We made a match at last year’s event,” Allison Josephs told VIN News.  “Every event with a sizable number of people should bring Gift of Life to swab.  As they say, one swab could save a life.”

Shining a positive light on Orthodox Jewry was a prevalent theme throughout the night.

“There is this misconception of what an Orthodox person is in the media and we need to try to break down that stereotype,” said Sarah Lasry of The Patchke Princess.

“The media likes to go with the most scandalous stories versus who we really are.  We are people like Jack Lew and Sara Hofstetter. Orthodox Judaism has many facets and they are all great.”

Yonit Tanenbaum of YQ Media, a Brooklyn-based public relations company, addressed the challenges of being an Orthodox woman in the business world.

“It is quite easy for women to drop their frum social mannerisms and blend in with the crowd. But if you maintain your Jewish identity and present yourself within the business world as a frum professional woman who works hard, you will find that others respect that approach. They appreciate that you are different and trust you to get the job done in a professional and respectable way.”

Below: VIN News reporter Sandy Eller who attended the event On Nov. 24, 2013 in an exclusive video interview with, several current and past Orthodox women honorees, including Chani Neuberger, Sara Hofstetter,  Jamie Geller and Dr. Laurel Steinherz, discussed their experiences as Orthodox professionals in the business world.

Posters at the Lincoln Square Synagogue in Manhattan highlighting Orthodox Jews in the Awards Ceremony

Drs Peter and Laurel Steinherz, founders of Camp Simcha.

VIN News reporter Sandy Eller interviewing celebrity chef Jamie Geller

Issamar Ginzburg

Issamar Ginzburg Shlomo Gombo

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Read Comments (11)  —  Post Yours »


 Nov 25, 2013 at 03:05 PM Rachel W. Says:

Very, very impressive. Hope the media take note of the beautiful people who create a kiddish Hashem with their accomplishments and behavior and that those who abandon their religion with the excuse that it stifles them sit up and take notice.


 Nov 25, 2013 at 03:38 PM sane Says:

Jews made it to the top echelons of German society too. That did not make the Germans love us. Just the opposite. Your focus is all wrong.


 Nov 25, 2013 at 03:50 PM GottaHaveEmunah Says:

Orthodox should do everything al pi Halacha......Why no mechitza?


 Nov 25, 2013 at 04:15 PM ModernLakewoodGuy Says:

Reply to #3  
GottaHaveEmunah Says:

Orthodox should do everything al pi Halacha......Why no mechitza?

Mehitza is required for davening and dancing, neither of which is occurring here.

Perhaps every store should have mehitzas, along with streets, trains and parks?


 Nov 25, 2013 at 04:22 PM Yerachmiel Says:

Reply to #3  
GottaHaveEmunah Says:

Orthodox should do everything al pi Halacha......Why no mechitza?

They are not davening. Al pi halachah, there is an issur of baal tosif. Why are you asking for mechitzah as if it is halachah? You want to keep a minhag of segregation, gezunterheit. But why are you violating the shulchan aruch by misrepresenting halachah?


 Nov 25, 2013 at 05:10 PM savtat Says:

To live a Torah life, means to bring the Torah with you into the world and when your accomplishments are lauded, you also create a Kiddush Hashem. Kol Hakavod to these amazing people.


 Nov 25, 2013 at 06:00 PM The_Truth Says:

Reply to #3  
GottaHaveEmunah Says:

Orthodox should do everything al pi Halacha......Why no mechitza?

Just trying to understand your comment, - whats the halacha of a mechitza?


 Nov 25, 2013 at 08:50 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
sane Says:

Jews made it to the top echelons of German society too. That did not make the Germans love us. Just the opposite. Your focus is all wrong.

You pose a false premise…those "Jews who made it to the top of echelons of
German society", as you put it, were not Torah observant Jews…so your comparison is faulty. THAT'S the difference. Jewinthecity is trying to show that you can be Torah observant and not only succeed in the secular world while remaining true to Torah values, but excel in that world. Perhaps if the secular German Jews had remained true to their heritage, the carnage that occurred could have been avoided!


 Nov 26, 2013 at 08:27 AM FBF37 Says:

Just watched the video. First I would like to say what a great interviewer Sandy Eller is. Fantastic job!

Kol Hakvod to Jewinthecity and everyone involved in this project. A really great idea!

Thanks VIN for reporting and posting this story.


 Nov 26, 2013 at 01:05 PM BostonPatriot Says:

Kol haKavod, Sandy Eller. Wonderful job.


 Nov 29, 2013 at 09:44 AM BLONDI Says:

amazing!!! we can show the world how amazing a Jew who has values can be "normal"....wondering if senator joe lieberman was ever awarded


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