What do Forbes-ranked hedge fund manager and philanthropist Henry Swieca, BCBGeneration Creative Director Joyce Azria and Columbia Law School Dean Emeritus David Schizer have in common? They are among a group of ten individuals who have been named 2014 Orthodox Jewish All Stars by Jew in the City, the organization dedicated to re-branding Orthodox Jews and Judaism through digital media.
In addition to Swieca, Azria and Schizer, this diverse and accomplished group includes Saul Blinkoff, Disney animator and film director, Professor Marta Weinstock-Rosin, Israel Prize winner in Medicine, who developed a drug to slowdementia caused by Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s; Yael Federbush, four-time Emmy winning producer at “The Today Show;” Professor Barry Simon, 2012 Henri Poincare prize winner for Outstanding Achievements in Mathematical Physics; Josh Meier, 4th place winner of the 2014 Intel prize and named “One of the Eight Kids Who Are the Future of Medicine by CNN: Estee Ackerman, Table Tennis phenom, ranked 6th in the country in her division and a 2016 Olympian hopeful; and Mindy Pollak, a Montreal Councilwoman who made history last fall as the first Hasidic woman ever to be elected to public office.
A short film showing several of the All-Stars and how they have balanced career and observance is slated to premiere at the event.”
“In 2012 when we created this award, we focused on shattering people’s misconceptions about Othodox Jews and what they could accomplish professionally. Last year, when Chanukah historically intersected with Thanksgiving, we celebrated the religious freedoms that exist in the world today, which allow people of all faiths to excel in a variety of career paths,” said Allison Josephs, Jew in the City founder and director. “This year, our message is our most crucial one yet; with anti-Semitic attacks on the rise across the globe, we are celebrating ten individuals who proudly observe Jewish traditions as they’ve soared to the tops of their fields,” Allison explains. “Increased anti-Semitism is a threat to all Jews and should concern all good people, but the reality is that those that look the most Jewish (i.e., the Orthodox Jewish community), are the most visible targets. These Orthodox Jewish All Stars serve as a poignant reminder that you can be a proud religious Jew and still be highly successful. No one should feel the need to hide his Judaism or his observance. We must never cower in the face of anti-Semitism.”
Past Orthodox Jewish All Stars have included former Senator Joe Lieberman, Top Ten Billboard Recording Artist Alex Clare, and New York Times bestselling novelist Faye Kellerman, who all appeared in the All Stars inaugural video in 2012. Last year’s list included Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, Nobel Laureate Robert Aumann and advertising agency 360i CEO Sarah Hofstetter.
Many of this year’s All Stars as well as those of previous years are expected to attend the red carpet event awards party in lower Manhattan on Tuesday evening, December 2, 2012. Attendees will enjoy music, wine and a Chanukah themed dairy dinner, including latke and donut bars.
The event will be emceed by Hassidic comic Mendy Pellin, a 2012 Orthodox Jewish All Star, who the New York Times called “Stephen Colbert with a beard and a black hat.”
By Rochelle Maruch Miller