New York – An Orthodox Nobel Laureate, a Chasidic woman filmmaker and an Orthodox member of President Obama’s cabinet were among those named as Orthodox Jewish All Stars Sunday night at a unique awards ceremony designed to cast the spotlight on successful Orthodox professionals.
The event, timed to coincide with the rare overlap of Thanksgiving and Chanukah, was created by Allison Josephs of Jew in the City, a blog dedicated to showcasing the accomplishments of Orthodox Jews and defuse the notion that being a practicing, Orthodox Jew is antithetical to having a vibrant, flourishing career.
This year’s honorees included a diverse group of individuals including United States Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, National Security Agency Director of Commercial Solutions Center Chani Neuberger, Nobel Laureate Robert Aumann, Sara Hofstetter, CEO of one of the fastest growing advertising agency in the U.S. 360i, Dr. Laurel Steinherz, director of pediatric cardiology at Memorial Sloan Kettering and co-founder of Camp Simcha, Joseph Shenker, chairman of Sullivan & Cromwell, the 3rd largest law firm in the United States, Naama Shafir, the first Orthodox professional female basketball player, Ari Pinchot, a Yeshiva University graduate who is the producer of award winning documentaries and marketing guru Issamar Ginzburg.
Also recognized for her achievements was Rama Burshtein, the Chasidic female writer, director and producer of the Sony Pictures film Fill the Void, which tells the story of a Chasidic girl and was critically acclaimed by the New York Times, CBS News, The Huffington Post and L.A. Times.
Over 150 people turned out at the Lincoln Square Synagogue in Manhattan for the second annual Orthodox Jewish All Star awards, which also featured a mini bone marrow drive for the Gift of Life Foundation.
“We made a match at last year’s event,” Allison Josephs told VIN News. “Every event with a sizable number of people should bring Gift of Life to swab. As they say, one swab could save a life.”
Shining a positive light on Orthodox Jewry was a prevalent theme throughout the night.
“There is this misconception of what an Orthodox person is in the media and we need to try to break down that stereotype,” said Sarah Lasry of The Patchke Princess.
“The media likes to go with the most scandalous stories versus who we really are. We are people like Jack Lew and Sara Hofstetter. Orthodox Judaism has many facets and they are all great.”
Yonit Tanenbaum of YQ Media, a Brooklyn-based public relations company, addressed the challenges of being an Orthodox woman in the business world.
“It is quite easy for women to drop their frum social mannerisms and blend in with the crowd. But if you maintain your Jewish identity and present yourself within the business world as a frum professional woman who works hard, you will find that others respect that approach. They appreciate that you are different and trust you to get the job done in a professional and respectable way.”
Below: VIN News reporter Sandy Eller who attended the event On Nov. 24, 2013 in an exclusive video interview with, several current and past Orthodox women honorees, including Chani Neuberger, Sara Hofstetter, Jamie Geller and Dr. Laurel Steinherz, discussed their experiences as Orthodox professionals in the business world.