Seth and Isaac Galena have been a two-man comedy team ever since the womb. Shortly after they graduated from Yeshiva University, the twin brothers started a Web site, bangitout.com, which quickly morphed from daily jokes that tipped their hats to Jewish life to a clearinghouse for apartments, jobs and other connections and resonated strongly with their modern Orthodox peers on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
"Now it’s kind of a brand, and it’s pretty cool to establish a brand," says Seth (on right), whose day job is in advertising.
From their perches at bangitout (features include "videos that bang," "apartments that bang" and "the daily bang") the two have had a front-row seat to changes in the Jewish community since they started the site in
2000. They have observed how the Jewish conversation has grown online, with videos, Facebook and shared content, helping to unite not only Upper West Siders but Jews across the country.
"There are millions of people," says Isaac of how disparate the Jewish community can be. "You can easily disappear or easily be a part of something."
In addition to maintaining their Web site they plan events for young Jews, usually around holidays like Tu b’Av (the Jewish day of love) or Purim. Isaac, who works in management consulting, says five or six weddings have resulted from their "shindigs," not to mention the young man who went to see an apartment listed on bangitout that he didn’t realize was reserved for religious girls; he ended up marrying the girl who answered the door.
As for their twin identities, the Galenas say, it all helps with the brand recognition. "If you see me on the street, then you see me again, I’m getting double the exposure," says Seth, only half-joking. They hope to see bangitout turn into a full-time gig so they can continue to refine their humor as they, their cohort and their fans around the Jewish world age.
"In 2009, we’re not really funny; we’re a bit clever, and witty," says Seth. "We’re not entertainers as much as – "
"Social critics," says Isaac, not for the first time finishing his brother’s sentence.
A public proposal: Seth proposed to his wife two years ago live on the CBS "Early Show"; Isaac later got "millions of phone calls saying, ‘I saw you — or someone who looked like you — propose on TV!’" The couple then went skydiving. Saving a life: Since they have identical DNA, they were both called to donate bone marrow when they were found to be a match; Isaac picked up the phone, and, as his brother proudly says, "saved some kid’s life."
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