Special Sections

36 Under 36 2009: Leslie Ginsparg, 32

Staff Writer
04/24/2009

L ooking for an outlet to unleash her creative side, Leslie Ginsparg decided to attend her first women’s open-mike event during a trip to Israel 10 years ago. Though she and her friends have always loved performance, their strict observance of kol isha laws have kept them away from public venues where men would be able to hear them sing, she says.

36 Under 36 2009: Juan Mejía, 31

Staff Writer
04/24/2009

At 15, Juan Mejía was attending a prestigious Catholic high school in Colombia, hoping one day to become a monk. Little did he know that 16 years later, he would actually become a rabbi.

36 Under 36 2009: Joshua Ellison, 31

Staff Writer
04/24/2009

Joshua Ellison spent a year in Israel, he became immersed in Israeli culture and society. But his trip, through the DOROT Fellowship in Israel, also prompted explorations farther afield than the Jewish state, landing him first in Budapest, and later beyond. "I tried to make sense of the experience of living in Israel and I went to Budapest and something really clicked, very much something Jewish," he says. "The more I traveled the more I had those experiences."

36 Under 36 April 2009

04/24/2009

 Highlights young innovators who are retooling Jewish life in New York, Israel, and around the world.  

36 Under 36 2009

36 Under 36 2009: Joe Teplow, 17

Staff Writer
04/24/2009

 Joe Teplow has met with sponsors, applied for a grant, built a Web site and started his own organization. All before senior calculus. Teplow, a senior at SAR High School in Riverdale, didn’t set out to start Teens for the World (TFTW), a group dedicated to helping other teens conduct charitable projects.

But last year, when he and a friend organized the overwhelmingly successful Skate for Sderot program, a hockey tournament that raised $10,000 for Connections Israel, they knew they weren’t done.

36 Under 36 2009: Joe Teplow, 17

Staff Writer
04/24/2009

 Joe Teplow has met with sponsors, applied for a grant, built a Web site and started his own organization. All before senior calculus. Teplow, a senior at SAR High School in Riverdale, didn’t set out to start Teens for the World (TFTW), a group dedicated to helping other teens conduct charitable projects.

But last year, when he and a friend organized the overwhelmingly successful Skate for Sderot program, a hockey tournament that raised $10,000 for Connections Israel, they knew they weren’t done.

36 Under 36 2009: Jen Taylor Friedman, 29

Staff Writer
04/24/2009

 f you’re looking to learn the intricacies of writing a Torah from Jen Taylor Friedman, the first woman in history to write a Torah and adopt the title of soferet, female Torah scribe, you might want to start now, because she’s looking to leave the country.

 

 

36 Under 36 2009: Jake Spinowitz, 18

Staff Writer
04/24/2009

 Born with severe hearing loss, Jake Spinowitz was fitted for hearing aids at age 1. Every few years, as technology improved, he upgraded to a new pair. Then, during his freshmen year of high school, he woke up one morning and everything was muted. "It was scary," the Woodbury, L.I., teen says. "Even with the hearing aids, I couldn’t hear anything." Three months later, he underwent a successful cochlear implant surgery.

36 Under 36 2009: Guma Aguiar, 33

Staff Writer
04/24/2009

Just as the economy began to dip further into recession and traditional funding sources were slashing their giving, Guma Aguiar appeared on the scene. The self-made businessman who divides his time between New York, South Florida, and Jerusalem has emerged as a new — and significant— force in Jewish philanthropy. He made headlines when he donated $8 million to Nefesh B’Nefesh, which promotes North American aliyah. Other big gifts include half a million to March of the Living and another $500,000 to sponsor worldwide Passover sederim through Chabad.

36 Under 36 2009: Gilad Hekselman, 26

Staff Writer
04/24/2009

 Gilad Hekselman moved to the United States just five years ago, but already the Israeli jazz guitarist has drawn comparisons to young but fully formed stringed icons like the late Jaco Pastorius and Scott LaFaro. Hekselman is honored, but not quite indebted. In an interview, Hekselman said he looked to other instruments than his own for inspiration, from the ruminative piano lines of Brad Mehldau to the cerebral saxophone riffs of Mark Turner. "To be honest, jazz guitarists aren’t my main influence," Hekselman says.

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