36 Under 36

Bethany Mandel, 27

Associate Editor

@ BethanyShondark
Free spirit, freethinker.

Earlier this spring, with ice still in the Garden (Madison Square Garden), Seth Mandel announced to his wife Bethany, “I have something very important to tell the baby,” the firstborn they’re expecting in the fall.

Bethany Mandel

Talia Weisberg, 18


Young, Orthodox and feminist.

It all began with Betty Friedan. In the summer before ninth grade, Talia Weisberg, started perusing “The Feminine Mystique.” “Once I started reading, I couldn’t go back.”

Talia Weisberg
Promotional Snippet

Talia Weisberg, feminist, scholar"Do you support equal pay for women? Do you support equal political and economic rights for women? So, nu, you’re a feminist.”
-- Talia Weisberg, 18


Alison Klayman, 28

Contributing editor / Blueprint Editor

The power of documentaries.

When Alison Klayman traveled to Beijing after graduating from Brown University in 2006, she had ambitions, but no concrete plans beyond learning Mandarin and tagging along on a friend’s family visit.

Alison Klayman
Promotional Snippet

Alison Klayman, filmmaker, Chinese speaker

“My parents value what Ai Weiwei has come to stand for. Individual courage, the ability to speak truth to power — these are the values I was raised with.”
-- Alison Klayman, 28

Michael Witman, 32

Contributing editor / blueprint editor

Staying calm in a crisis.

Mike Witman doesn’t like to use the word “I.”

During Hurricane Sandy, when the North Shore of Long Island was plunged into darkness, Witman, who is director of education at Temple Beth-El of Great Neck, had a vision: the Temple would serve as a shelter, office building and day care for families who were without power.

Michael Witman

Doni Joszef, 30

Contributing editor / blueprint editor

Fighting the bullies.

He says he’s never seen “Welcome Back Kotter,” but Doni Joszef is a 2013 version of Gabe Kotter, the beloved high school teacher from the 1970s sitcom who returned to his old high school stomping grounds.

Doni Joszef

36 Under 36 2013

Our sixth annual list of young visionaries reshaping and broadening the Jewish community.


The Next Jewish Community

The push, they prod, they inspire, they innovate, they pull a crowd with their ideas. Now in its sixth year, The Jewish Week’s “36 Under 36” section has honored young people in our community who have dared to challenge conventional thinking and follow their inner compass.

36 Under 36 June 2013


In this fifth annual “36 Under 36” section, The Jewish Week proudly atches up with past 36ers:


Chaviva Galatz (’11) moved to Denver, where she works for the Colorado Agency for Jewish Education as the social media and website manager. She was named a Top 10 Jewish Influencers on Twitter by NJOP.

Roman Shmulenson, Creating a community of disparate émigrés.

Staff Writer

Roman Shmulenson, 34

Part of a Ukrainian-Jewish family that came to the U.S. in 1993, Roman Shmulenson made his first meaningful contact with the Jewish community while studying at a Brooklyn high school the next year. A social worker from the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services who met with émigré teens arranged a scholarship for Shmulenson to visit Israel.

The trip energized his Jewish feelings; today he’s paying his spiritual debt, as a leader of the émigré community.

Roman Shmulenson

Michelle Sarna, Empowering Orthodox women.

Staff Writer


Michelle Sarna, 33

As a member of the New York University community for nine years, recently as an NYU Law School Tikvah post-doctoral scholar and previously as an NYU JLIC educator, Michelle Sarna was gratified when Shalhevet, NYU’s Orthodox student group, elected its first female president four years ago – succeeded by three more female presidents.

Michelle Sarna

Rebecca Missel, Bringing together New Jersey Jews without a community.

Editorial Intern/ARTS INTERN

Rebecca Missel, 32

Twitter: @JerseyTribe

Rebecca Missel grew up mostly in Mesa, Ariz., a predominantly Mormon city with few Jews. But when she moved to Morristown, N.J., she was surprised to find she felt a more acute lack of connection with her community.

Rebecca Missel
Syndicate content