An ardent defender of Israel, and an artist, Craig Dershowitz, 32, thought the two could never meet. But that opinion changed when he joined a pro-Israel protest, to counter a pro-Palestinian one in front of UN during last year’s Gaza war. Dershowitz, who says he is very distantly related to Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, carried with him pro-Israel signs with his own artistic drawings.
It was fitting that when The Jewish Week met up with Efraim Chalamish, he had just returned from teaching a two-week international investment law seminar in Switzerland. Currently a Global Fellow at New York University, Chalamish, who holds a doctorate in international economic law, spends half of his time traveling to speaking engagements nearby and as far-flung as Australia, Singapore, Tokyo and Austria. “I was always interested in a global, multicultural life,” he says.
A quick glance at some of Sara Berman’s vital stats and you could be forgiven for assuming she’s Orthodox. Married at age 20, she is the mother of six children ranging in age from 8 months to 12 years — and the school-age kids attend Ramaz, the venerable East Side centrist Orthodox day school.
Jessica Balaban couldn’t have predicted that she would devote herself to education and coalition-building efforts on behalf of Israeli Arabs.
While she always loved Israel and has spent considerable time there, including studying abroad at Tel Aviv University, she joined the corporate world after graduating college. Working for one of the top communications firms was stimulating, but her heart wasn’t fully in it. “I wanted my day to translate into more than driving sales for publicly traded companies,” she says.
As an Orthodox Jew who grew up in a Modern Orthodox home in Brooklyn, Samuel Adelsberg braced himself for the worst of reactions when he unveiled his new project: An online micro-giving site similar to kiva.org that lends small sums to Palestinian micro-entrepreneurs living in the West Bank who have been vetted by U.S. government-approved microfinance institutions.
Visionaries for a New Era: Thirty-six young innovators who are re-imagining Jewish life here, in Israel, and abroad.
In our third annual “36 Under 36” section we shine a spotlight on a new crop of three dozen forward-thinking young people who are helping reshape the Jewish community. They’re revitalizing established Jewish organizations by launching new models of young leadership programs, empowering micro-entrepreneurs here and in Israel, fostering new forms of spirituality, and raising our eco-consciousness.