The Oy! Team
A Badger through and through, Stefanie graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Jewish Studies and recently got her masters in professional Jewish Studies at the Spertus Institute in Chicago. She makes her parents very proud by putting her degrees to good use as the Manager of Digital Communications at JUF and the Associate Editor of JUF News.
When you look at Steven's experience and skills on paper, he either comes across as a multi-talented superstar or someone who doesn't know what the heck he's doing in life. To some extent, both are true. Steven is originally from Deerfield, Ill. He got himself a journalism degree at the University of Missouri, which is a great place to do that sort of thing, but it matters little when you graduate at the onset of a recession like he did.
After studying commercial photography and graduating from Ohio University, Lindsey Bissett threw a dart at a map and ended up in Chicago. She began working at a theatre where she rode horses and danced with fire to make ends meet. With scorched fingers and an aching back, Lindsey left the horse theatre business and now works as the Associate Production Manager for JUF News.
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. Lie: roller-blading* Read her blog and explore what its like to be Orthodox on a secular college campus: www.collegadoxparadox.blogspot.com
Gabi Bronstein is a 2012 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison honors program with a double degree in communications and history, and a certificate in European studies. She currently works for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and volunteers with the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York.
Eric Burgher is a Chicago native and founder of Sweet Home Sports, covering all things Chicago sports. Eric is an adjunct faculty member in the theatre department at Columbia College Chicago, and a Music Specialist for JCC Chicago.
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.
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.
Jeremy Fine is currently the Assistant Rabbi at Temple of Aaron in St. Paul Minnesota. He was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Even though living in Minnesota, Jeremy is a Chicago guy through and through. He loves deep dish and The Chicago White Sox. His blog www.thegreatrabbino.com combines his two passions: Judaism and sports. He's really excited to be a part of the Oy! team. If you have any questions or comments email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laura Frankel is the former chef and founder of the Shallots restaurants. She has training and extensive experience in both savory and pastry kitchens. After starting a family, she began maintaining a kosher home and found that there was nowhere in Chicago serving the quality of food that she knew she could offer. She opened her first restaurant in 1999 offering kosher fine dining with a produce-driven menu. She opened Shallots NY in 2000 in Mid-town Manhattan. In 2004, she moved her Chicago restaurant to Skokie and created Shallots Bistro.
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. She graduated from one of the top culinary schools with a degree in culinary arts and a BA in Hospitality and Restaurant management. Having worked all over Chicago in a multitude of kitchens, she boasts a well-rounded recipe repertoire. Read more of her story and keep up with her many shenanigans at www.girlandthekitchen.com.
After graduating from Columbia College Chicago with an Interdisciplinary Studies degree in Fashion Studies and Journalism, Carly has become a freelance writer who focuses on Jewish life, arts, culture, and fashion. In her free time she loves being surrounded by her family and friends, practicing yoga, exploring Chicago’s restaurant scene, advocating Fair Trade fashion, and streaming an unhealthy amount of TV comedies on Netflix and Hulu.
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.
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.
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. Currently, he combines all of those skills at 100 Reasons to Win, where he coaches and trains professionals to replace excuses to fail with reasons to succeed.
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 at Prime Publishing in Northbrook as an editor for a food website. She’s a proud Illini (graduated with Bachelor’s in Media Studies in 2009), a dedicated Francophile, a music lover and a writer always.
Ron Krit has been personal training clients for over 10 years! His philosophy centers on making fitness fun so you look forward to working out and getting healthy.
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. Sometimes funny, sometimes sentimental, Lia uses her love of writing to attempt to make a tiny difference in the world – or at least make you chuckle.
It’s been a winding road back to Chicago, but after spending the first half of her 20s in places as diverse as Boston, Nashville, Phoenix, Washington, D.C., Jerusalem, and even Auckland, New Zealand, Jessica has finally returned to the city she calls home.
Adam Daniel Miller is a self-proclaimed writer and comedian of sorts having performed professionally for six months once. He has also written a multitude of short stories, 10-minute/one-act plays, two full-length plays and many various other bits of writing.
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.
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. After years of meaning and monotony, he decided it was time to settle down and get a job, so he took over a decade off to study in the illustrious Yeshiva University and a number of Israeli yeshivas (post-doc Judaic studies sites). While meditating in the Rockies, he met his wife-to-be, Laura, who knocked some sense into him and continues to keep him grounded, down to earth, and changing diapers.
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!) She has made exactly zero dollars since earning her Masters Degree in Counseling because she popped out a kid right after graduation and then couldn't figure out how to stop doing that. (Which is no doubt just silly since she volunteers at a birth control clinic in Northfield and teaches sex ed and HIV/AIDS prevention in Englewood.)
Marcy grew up in the flat plains of Midwest suburbia, in Jewish Country— Highland Park, Illinois. She currently lives in the artist colony of Nahlaoot, Israel with her husband. Their mission is to fill up on Jewish education and skills in order to bring it back to America and help out the Jewish communities there.
Jeremy grew up in the rice fields of Stuttgart, Arkansas (the rice and duck capital of the world) but claims naturalized citizenship in Chicago. He came to the Windy City a few years ago to earn his MFA in acting at Roosevelt University and in spite of the cold has yet to leave. In his free time Jeremy hosts and produces an ongoing live-lit show known as You're Being Ridiculous.
After growing up in Wilmette, IL, Lauren traveled to Washington DC to attend the George Washington University for the past four years. She graduated this year and although she had a blast in the District, she is very excited to be back in the Midwest, working for the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Cindy Sher is managing editor for JUF News, the monthly magazine of the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. Cindy has been on staff with JUF News for nearly 8 years. Highlights of her time at the magazine have included interviewing such luminaries as Elie Wiesel and Jon Stewart and comparing latkes to hamentaschens (seriously).
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.
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. I was born in Cleveland in 1970, but entered Northwestern in 1988, moving to Chicago permanently (so far) in 1994… so there is some hesitancy as to where I’m “from”. I have three gorgeous, genius children— two of grade-school age, one of each major type, and a brand new baby boy. I have a wife who is prettier, smarter and more athletic than me. And we have a puppy who is just plain ridiculous.
Gleacher Center, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, 450 N. Cityfront Plaza Drive
Thursday, February 18, 2016 | 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
The Center for Jewish Genetics in collaboration with Hillels of Illinois presents The Business of Genetics, an interactive discussion on the globalization of research and development for rare diseases. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to interact with corporate leaders from Pfizer, who will touch on the scientific, business and medical aspects of the development and marketing of Elelyso (a new treatment for Gaucher disease) in collaboration with their Israeli biotechnology partner, Protalix. The event includes a networking reception with refreshments following the program.
For more information, contact
KarenLitwack@juf.org. There is no cost to attend this event, but space is limited. Register at
Pre-register for your free Birthright Israel adventure this summer or next winter with Shorashim to fly from Chicago, travel with others from the community, and spend all 10 days with Israelis your own age! Learn more @ israelwithisraelis.com.