The Shmooze

Orthodox Jewish All Stars

By Renee Ghert-Zand

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“Jew in the City” fans are used to watching entrepreneurial Allison Josephs sitting on her living room set expounding humorously and informatively into the camera about Orthodox Jewish life. But this time she’s gotten off her couch and out into the field to film a video called “Orthodox Jewish All Stars,” that shows that not all Orthodox Jews spend their lives in the yeshiva or kitchen, as some might assume.

In fact, Orthodox Jews can be found on Capitol Hill, the Billboard charts, the bestseller lists, the performance stage, the basketball court, the Rhodes Scholars list, and the steps of the Supreme Court. Others can be found in television network production meetings, or in the boxing ring.

“People are often incredulous when I explain to them that Orthodox Jews are professionally active in all different parts of society,” Josephs told The Forward in a phone interview. So, rather than continuing on her own to try to break down stereotypes, Josephs steps aside and lets a bunch of exceptionally successful Orthodox Jews — ranging from liberal Modern Orthodox to Hasidic — speak for themselves.

These “All Stars” are: Senator Joel Lieberman; author Faye Kellerman; recording artist Alex Clare; media producer and marketer (Jamie Geller;](http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jamie-geller) pro boxer Dmitriy Salita; pro basketball player Tamir Goodman; comedian Mendy Pellin, Supreme Court law clerk and Sharsheret founder and director Rochelle Shoretz, Rhodes Scholar Miriam Rosenbaum; and the Maccabeats a cappella group.

They all say a bit about themselves and how they balance being an Orthodox Jew with their profession commitments. And then at the end Mendy Pellin provides a little comic relief. “Orthodox Jews do have a lot of career options. But let’s face it. We can’t do everything. Like, we can’t be pork taste testers,” he jokes in his stand-up act. “When was the last time you saw an Orthodox Jew as a pork taste tester?”

“The biggest challenge was collecting all these super-busy people,” Josephs said about the four months of work that went into making the video. “But it was better for me to show than tell,” she said about being behind the camera this time. Indeed, it was very rewarding for her to find that these people also cared about “straightening out our image,” as she put it.

It appears that people are highly interested in meeting this All Star lineup. The clip has garnered more than 40,000 views in just the first few days since it was posted on December 9—setting a record for “Jew in the City” videos. Might this mean that there will be an “All Stars” video part 2?


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