by Tamar Snyder
In case you haven’t looked recently, it’s not our mother’s (or father’s) Jewish community anymore. Denominational affiliation is flagging, younger Jews are seeking new, and more pliable, definitions of Jewish identity and social networking is reshaping the community in profound ways. But some things remain the same, namely the urge to question conventional wisdom and the pull to “do justice,” as the prophet Micah says.
Over the past three years we have identified more than 100 young doers, thinkers and innovators who are helping us to navigate the new landscape and give it shape. This, the fourth installment of the “36 Under 36” list, highlights the dedicated lay leaders who are reordering our legacy organizations alongside community activists and social justice crusaders whose startups are chock-full of innovation. From the social media savvy and a new crop of educators with vision, these young Jews represent a new crop of artists, writers, rabbis and philanthropists who are putting their shoulders to the wheel and nudging the Jewish community forward.
The Jewish Week’s 2011 “36 Under 36” List:
1. Allie Alperovich, dedicated lay leader promoting progressive Orthodoxy.
2. Matt Bar, founder of Bible Raps.
3. Gal Beckerman, author of “When They Come For Us, We’ll Be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry.”
4. Elisabeth Cohen, founder of College Students for Enrichment in Secondary Schools.
5. Brian Elliot, advocate for LGBT rights.
6. Joshua Foer, author of “Moonwalking With Einstein” and one of the founders of Sukkah City.
7. Chaviva Galatz, social media maven.
8. Emily Gindi, empowering Jewish women to give.
9. Seth Ginsberg, founder of CreakyJoints, which helps educate those suffering from arthritis.
10. Sara Greenberg, filmmaker who is a voice for Third-Generation survivors.
11. Rachel Jonas, Met Council’s Most Valuable Player.
12. Jennifer Joseph, spreading the message of grassroots work.
13. Shira Kline, founder of Jewish children’s music band, ShirLaLa.
14. Dori Konig, created the Memoirs Project at Selfhelp, an organization that helps Holocaust survivors.
15. Konstantin Kraz, co-founder of RJeneration, which connects young Jewish professionals from the former Soviet Union.
16. Leah Larson, founder of Yaldah Media
17. Josephine Mairzadeh, co-founder of 30 Years After, a nonprofit that aims to encourage Iranian Jews to become involved in Israel advocacy and American public policy while also preserving and transferring the community’s unique heritage.
18. Rabbi Edith Meyerson, chaplain in palliative care at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
19. Yehoshua November, Chasidic poet.
20. Jonathan Perelman, lay leader of AJC’s ACCESS NY.
21. Robyn Polansky, dedicated volunteer with Friends of the Israel Defense Force.
22. Remy Roizen, co-founder of Birthright Alumni Board.
23. and 24. David Dabscheck and Adam Sager, co-founders of Community Security Service, an independent organization that protects attendees at Jewish events and provides training for volunteer members of Jewish institutions.
25. Eric Schorr, Pro-Israel Campus Activist.
26. Skyler Siegel, co-founder of Veguary.org, which promotes part-time vegetarianism.
27. Rabbi Dan Smokler, engaging students through Jewish texts by creating a 10-week fellowship for students at NYU.
28. Rabbi Jeremy Stern, executive director of the Organization for the Resolution of Agunot (ORA).
29. Rabbi Joshua Strom, creating a new model for Shabbat services at Tenple Shaaray Tefila on the Upper East Side.
30. Elke Reva Sudin, founder of the Jewish Art Now website and SUDIN Magazine.
31. Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster, human rights activist.
32. Jourdan Urbach, concert violinist who raises funds for medical research.
33. Rabbi Shlomo Uzhansky, founder of Nachas Hebrew School on Staten Island; creating Russian-Jewish community on Staten Island.
34. Shefa Weinstein, Website guru who launched parenting site.
35. Uri Westrich, independent filmmaker; music video director for The Maccabeats
36. Mara Yacobi, promoting sex education with a Jewish twist.
For profile information on each of the “36″, check the Jewish Week‘s website.