About Oy!

Oy!Chicago -- a special project of the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago -- is a living journal of personal stories, a catalog of Jewish (and Jew-ish) perspectives on a variety of interests and a showcase of up-and-coming local Jewish young adults and ideas.

Oy! is fueled by a diverse team of volunteer contributors (read about them below) from all walks of Jewish life who live in Chicago or who still hold Chicago in their hearts. Interested in contributing? Want to submit a guest piece? Contact us here.

Oy! Team
Stefanie Bregman photo 375
Stefanie is the co-founding editor of Oy! and the assistant vice president of marketing communications at the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago. She is the editor of Living Jewishly: A Snapshot of a Generation, a collection of personal essays and memoirs from Jewish 20- and 30-somethings from across the country. Most importantly, Stefanie is a new mommy. Read More

Steven Chaitman photo 375
Steven is the Managing Editor of Oy!Chicago and the Director of Strategic Digital Communications for the Jewish United Fund. A native of Deerfield, Illinois, Steven has a Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri and has worked as Movies Editor of EntertainmentFuse.com and as a freelancer for Windy City Times and RedEye. Read More

Lindsey Bissett photo 375
Lindsey is an Ohio native and studied commercial photography and art at Ohio University. She pursued her interest in graphic design when she began working at the Jewish United Fund in 2008. She now works as the Visual Communications Manager for JUF. Lindsey has a passion for photography and animals, and enjoys horseback riding, yoga, cats, friends and frequent trips to Michigan. Read More

Eliana Block photo 375
Two truths and a lie: Eliana Block is a Zionist. She learned sex-ed really for the first time in college. She aspires to write her first novel while skateboarding around the world and sampling different peanut butter recipes. Read More

Eric Burgher photo 375
Eric Burgher is a Chicago native and has been covering Chicago sports since 2013. Currently he is the Northwestern beat writer for MidwayMadness.com. Eric is also an adjunct faculty member in the theatre department at Columbia College Chicago. Read More

Blair Chavis photo 375
It is only fitting that Blair Chavis is an Oy! contributor, as "oy" is one of the most frequently uttered words in her vocabulary, according to her co-workers, friends and family. Blair is an Editor at Prime Publishing LLC, an online publishing company. She edits and managing several lifestyle Web sites. She also does freelance reporting on the side. Read More

Jenna Cohen photo 375
Jenna Cohen graduated from Knox College with a Bachelor’s in English Literature and minors in Spanish and Creative Writing. After graduating, Jenna began her own marketing business and worked as a marketing consultant for several Chicagoland start-ups. Read More

Ben Cutler photo
Hailing from Akron, Ohio, Ben Cutler moved to Chicago after graduating from Indiana University in Bloomington with a degree in political science. While at IU, Ben was a member of the AEPI fraternity and also spent time studying abroad in Seville, Spain. Ben works for Serafin & Associates, a firm in River North that specializes in crisis management and public affairs. Read More

Jeremy Fine photo
Jeremy Fine is currently the Associate Rabbi at Temple of Aaron in St. Paul Minnesota. He was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Even though Jeremy lives in Minnesota, he considers himself a Chicago guy. He loves deep dish pizza and The Chicago White Sox. Read More

Laura Frankel photo 375
Laura Frankel is the former chef and founder of the Shallots restaurants. She has training and extensive experience in both savory and pastry kitchens. In 2004, she moved her Chicago restaurant to Skokie and created Shallots Bistro. Read More

Mila Furman photo 375
Mila Furman is a chef, blogger, writer, recipe developer, food coach, new mom, wife and all around busy bee. Born in the former USSR, she grew up in Chicago and quickly developed an affinity for the culinary arts. Her Ashkenazi roots frequently influence her kitchen creations. Read More

Lia Goldfarb photo 375
There are some things in Lia’s life that she finds so irritating that they’re actually funny – like “honor roll” bumper stickers, doctor’s office waiting rooms, and the font “Curlz MT.” And then there are other things that make her really happy – like frozen meals from her mom, unique kitchen gadgets, and a website that keeps track of which TV episodes she’s watched. Read More

Neil Harris photo 375
Neil was grew up in Wichita, Kansas and after high school he spent two years studying in Israel and then went onto Yeshiva University. He is a parent, a husband, a learner, a blogger, a bike rider, a punk music listener, a consumer of iced coffee, and a self-cultivator. In 2006 Neil, his wife, and three kids moved to West Rogers Park. He is a commercial real estate consultant. Read More

Liz Kaydanovsky photo 375
Liz Kaydanovsky is a Chicago native and proud B-school grad from the University of Illinois in Champaign. Although her background is in accounting and finance, writing is her true passion. She is a regular contributor for The Huffington Post, Elite Daily, and Thought Catalog. She is also the creator and writer of 20swealth.com, a personal wealth blog for Millennials. Read More

Andy Kirschner photo 375
Originally from Detroit, Andy Kirschner lived in Chicago for about 10 years after college and currently finds himself just outside Washington, D.C. He has had several job titles throughout his career, including knife seller, recruiting manager, bagel-maker, life coach, tour guide, career counselor, Birthright Fellow, trade officer and PresenTense Coordinator. Read More

Ashley Kolpak photo 375
Born and raised in Buffalo Grove, Ashley’s been a little here, there and everywhere, but is a Chicago girl at heart. She currently works as a writer and editor for fitness, music, cultural blogs and more. She’s a proud Illini (graduated with Bachelor’s in Media Studies in 2009), a dedicated Francophile, a music-lover and a writer always. Read More

Ron Krit photo 375
Ron Krit has been giving seminars, training clients, and writing about fitness for over 15 years! His philosophy centers on making fitness fun so that you look forward to working out and getting healthy. Read More

Jessica Leving photo 375
A Chicago (ok, suburbs) native, Jessica holds a degree in journalism from Boston University and an MBA from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business. Her writing has appeared in The Boston Globe, USA Today, The Jerusalem Post, The Arizona Republic, and Global Traveler Magazine. Jessica currently works in JUF's Marketing/Communications department. Read More

Joshua Marder photo 375
Voted #1 Skydiving Rabbi of 1997, Josh joined the Peace Corp in 1998 working with Indonesian youth in Russia for three years. After realizing there wasn't much hope (nor population to work with), he moved on to write English textbooks in Japan for native Dutch speakers. Read More

Adam Daniel Miller photo 3
Originally from Chicago and well, still living in Chicago, is Adam Daniel Miller -- a lover of writing, a voiceover enthusiast and an overall funny guy, according to his mother. Read More

Adam J Miller photo
Adam is a Chicago native currently living in New York after the temptation of the Jewish scene in the Upper West Side became too much to resist. He graduated from UMass as a double-major in journalism and international sports marketing where he worked for 3.5 years at his college paper, the Massachusetts Daily Collegian and held an internship at the Jerusalem Post. Read More

Annice Moses photo 375
Annice is an Evanston raised, vegetarian grazing, liberal, red mini van driving chick who lives with a(n almost) vegan husband, 4 nutty kids and 2 rescue dogs in the rockin' burbs of Glencoe (where the party never ends!). Read More

Jeremy Owens photo 375
Jeremy Owens is the creator, producer and host of the live-lit/storytelling show You're Being Ridiculous. He lives in Rogers Park with his adorable husband Andy and adorabler dog Sally Field. Read More

Lauren Schmidt photo-375
Lauren Schmidt is the marketing and communications manager at Shorashim, where she has the opportunity to combine her passions of writing, marketing, social media, traveling and, of course, Israel. Read More

Cindy Sher photo 375
Cindy Sher started her career at JUF 16 years ago. She is the Executive Editor of JUF News and hosts JUF’s quarterly public affairs TV show “Sanctuary” on ABC 7 Chicago. Cindy studied Television Journalism at Northwestern University. She is currently pursuing her Executive Masters of Arts in Jewish Professional Studies at the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership. Read More

Ari Silver photo 375
Born and raised in Chicago, Ari Moffic Silver is a Jewish educator and foodie that has his finger on the pulse of Chicago’s Jewish education experience, and also its dynamic, delectable, dining destinations! Now residing in Glencoe with his wife Ashley and baby daughter, Emma, Ari teaches third grade at Solomon Schechter Day School. Read More

Paul Wieder photo 375
Imagine a man with the charisma of Cary Grant, the audacity of Marlon Brando, and the brilliance of Laurence Olivier. That’s George Clooney. I’m more… Jason Alexander. Read More


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