U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Nobel Laureate Robert Aumann are among ten individuals who have been named 2013 Orthodox Jewish All Stars by Jew in the City, the organization dedicated to re-branding Orthodox Jews and Judaism to the world through digital media.
This year’s All Stars are an extremely accomplished and diverse group, and, in addition to Secretary Lew and Dr. Aumann, include: Sarah Hofstetter, who was promoted last week to CEO of 360i in the US (the No. 2 advertising firm on Ad Age’s Agency A-List); Ari Pinchot, co-executive producer of the star-studded and critically acclaimed new film, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, featuring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey; Naama Shafir, the first Orthodox female professional basketball player; Joseph Shenker, chairman of Sullivan and Cromwell (the No. 3 law firm in the country according to Vault Rankings); Rama Burshtein, writer, director and producer of the awarding-winning film, Fill the Void (and the first Hasidic woman to make a film for general audiences); Anne Neuberger, the Director of the National Security Agency’s Commercial Solutions Center; Issamar Ginzberg, a marketing guru who was named one of Inc. Magazine’s Top 10 Entrepreneurs (and is the grandson of prominent Hasidic rebbes); and Dr. Laurel Steinherz, Director of Pediatric Cardiology at Memorial Sloan Kettering and co-founder of Camp Simcha, a renowned camp for Jewish children with cancer.
This year’s winners will be honored at a red carpet event which will coincide with a historic, once-in-a-lifetime overlap of Chanukah and Thanksgiving and will commemorate the redemption from religious persecution of Chanukah coinciding with Thanksgiving’s celebration of religious freedom in our great country, which has provided Jews with the opportunity to achieve the highest levels of professional success while maintaining their heritage.
“There is a common misconception that being an Orthodox Jew means you don’t have many career options,” said Allison Josephs, award-winning Jewish influencer and author, who founded Jew in the City (JewintheCity.com) six years ago to break down myths and misconceptions about religious Jews and observant Judaism. “Jew in the City is building awareness about a community that otherwise gets depicted as extreme and reclusive, and rarely is presented with any nuance.”
The inaugural “Orthodox Jewish All Stars” began last year with a YouTube video written, directed, and produced by Josephs that featured an inspiring and varied group of awardees, including former Senator Joe Lieberman, Top Ten Billboard Recording Artist Alex Clare and NYTimes bestselling novelist, Faye Kellerman – all people who have reached the pinnacle of their respective fields, which ranged from HBO producer to former top title holding professional boxer – while maintaining a religiously observant lifestyle.
Many of this year’s and last year’s All Stars will be attending the red carpet awards party in midtown Manhattan on the evening of November 24, the Sunday night before Chanukah and Thanksgiving. Attendees will enjoy live music, an open wine bar, and Chanukah/Thanksgiving themed dishes.
“For last year’s list, we sought out the individuals ourselves. This year, we opened up nominations to the public and a panel of judges selected the winners,” explained Josephs. “There were so many more remarkably successful Orthodox Jews that didn’t make it to this year’s list; we’ll hopefully be doing this for many more years.”
Jack Lew, U.S. Treasury Secretary – Law and Government
Jacob Joseph “Jack” Lew is currently the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury and a member of President Obama’s Cabinet. Prior to that, Lew served as President Obama’s Chief of Staff and as the Director of Office Management and Budget in the Clinton and Obama administrations.
Lew was born in 1955 in New York City. He received an A.B. from Harvard and a J.D. from Georgetown Law. Lew’s career in Washington began in 1973. He spent eight years as principal domestic policy adviser to the late House Speaker Tip O’Neill of Massachusetts. After leaving the Clinton administration Lew worked for Citigroup and served as vice president of NYU. He returned to Washington to serve for the Obama administration and in 2012 became the White House Chief of Staff. Lew has lit the National Menorah in Washington twice, once in 1998 and again in 2011, and is married with two grown children.
Dr. Robert Aumann, Nobel Laureate – Science and Medicine
Robert Aumann was born in June of 1930 in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany. Aumann and his family emigrated from Frankfurt to New York in 1938 because of the coming World War. Robert obtained a bachelor’s degree at the City College of New York in mathematics. Aumann went on to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and earned his Ph.D. under the tutelage of George W. Whitehead.
In 1955 Aumann married an Israeli girl named Esther and in 1956 he took a teaching position at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Aumann and his wife ‘are the parents of five children (one of whom who died while serving in the Israeli Army), 21 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.
Aumann is the author of over ninety scientific papers and six books, and has held visiting positions at Princeton, Yale, Berkeley, Louvain, Stanford, Stony Brook, and NYU. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences (USA), the British Academy, and the Israel Academy of Sciences; holds honorary doctorates from the Universities of Chicago, Bonn, Louvain, City University of New York, and Bar Ilan University; and has received numerous prizes, including the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for 2005.
Sarah Hofstetter, CEO of 360i U.S. Ad Agency – Business and Industry
Sarah Hofstetter is the CEO of 360i US, a firm which was named No. 2 on Ad Age’s Agency A-List this year as well as Mashable’s best Digital Agency of 2013. Before being elevated to U.S. CEO, Hofstetter was President of the agency, whose clients include Coca-Cola, Ben and Jerry’s, Oreo, Verizon and HBO. Since joining the agency in 2005, she has both created and evolved 360i’s brand strategy, social marketing and media practices. Hofstetter has won numerous industry honors, including being named to Ad Age’s “40 Under 40” for 2013 and CableFAX’s Digital Hot List. She has been honored as a “Social Media All-Star” by the Social Media Society and as one 2012’s Female Advertising Executives of the Year at The Stevie Awards. Prior to joining 360i, Hofstetter was president and founder of Kayak Communications, a marketing agency focused on developing brand strategy. Hofstetter is married and has a daughter and son.
Rama Burshtein, Writer, Director, and Producer of Fill the Void – Sports and Entertainment
Originally from New York, Rama Burshtein graduated from the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School in Jerusalem in 1994. A ba’al teshuvah, Burshtein became deeply religious during her time in Jerusalem and upon graduation dedicated herself to promoting film as a tool for self expression in the Orthodox community.
Released to critical acclaim (with a Rotten Tomato score of 83% and an 81 on Metacritic) Fill the Void, her first feature film, premiered at the Venice International Film Festival where it was selected to compete for the Golden Lion award. Lead actress Hadas Yaron won the Venice Film Festival Volpi Cup for her work. The film went on to win seven Ophir Awards including best director and best film. Burshtein is the first Hasidic woman to make a film for general audiences; Sony Pictures Classics picked up the movie for North American distribution. Burshtein has three sons and a daughter with her husband.
Joseph Shenker, Chairman of Sullivan & Cromwell – Law and Government
Joseph Shenker is the Chairman of Sullivan & Cromwell, the number three law firm in the country (according to Vault Rankings) and is a personal adviser to dozens of the world’s most active and influential business leaders and families. Shenker received his J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1980 and B.S. in Accounting from City University of New York, Brooklyn in 1977. Shenker joined Sullivan & Cromwell in 1980 and became a partner at the firm in 1986 at only 29 years old – the youngest person to make partner in history of Sullivan and Cromwell.
Under Shenker’s leadership, S&C was recognized as U.S. Real Estate Law Firm of the Year at the 2012 ACQ Finance Magazine Law Awards. Shenker was named one of the “Top Ten Agents of Change” by The Financial Times’ U.S. Innovative Lawyers 2012 report (November 2012). Shenker was also named the 2012 “New York City Real Estate Law Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers, and in 2007, he was recognized as one of the “Top 100 New York Super Lawyers.” Shenker has been profiled in the NYTimes, Bloomberg, and numerous other law journals. He is a Trustee at The Mount Sinai Hospital. Among his pro bono and community activities, he is a Member of the Board at Jewish Community Relations Council and on the Steering Committee of the Lawyers’ Division of the UJA.
Naama Shafir, First Orthodox Professional Women’s Basketball Player – Sports and Entertainment
A native Israeli, Naama Shafir is the only female Orthodox Jew to earn a scholarship at a Division I NCAA university. The four-time All MAC basketball player has received national media exposure from numerous major media outlets, including Sports Illustrated, USA Today, New York Times, ESPN.com, and CNN. But Shafir never compromised her Orthodox values for the game, whether it meant traveling before the squad or having all her meals brought frozen so that she could remain kosher. Shafir now plays guard for Israel’s Elitzur Ramla, making her the first Orthodox female professional basketball player.
Ari Pinchot, Co-Executive Producer of Lee Daniels’ The Butler – Sports and Entertainment
Ari Daniel Pinchot is the co-executive producer of the hot new film Lee Daniel’s The Butler, starring such heavy hitters as Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey. A Yeshiva University graduate, his first credit came as an associate producer of the award-winning documentary, The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg which was one of the top ten all-time grossing theatrical documentaries. Purchased by HBO for television the film won Best Non-Fiction Film 2000 National Society of Film Critics; Best Documentary 2000, Broadcast Film Critics Assoc. and Best Documentary 2000, National Board of Review of Motion Pictures. Following that film came the award winning feature documentary, Paper Clips, distributed by Miramax Films. Also bought for television by HBO, the film won several Audience and Best Documentary Awards including the Best Documentary at the 2003 Palm Springs International Film Festival. The film was released theatrically in the fall of 2004. Pinchot also served as the Executive Producer for the film Crossover (Showtime Networks), with Magic Johnson and Penny Marshall and Consulting Producer for the recent documentary feature War Child, winner of the audience award at the 2008 Tribeca film Festival. Co-founder and President of CCE, he also directed Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story. Talent must run in the Pinchot family as he is also the uncle to America’s Got Talent Semi-Finalist Edon Pinchot.
Anne Neuberger, Director of National Security Agency/Commercial Solutions Center – Law and Government
Anne Neuberger is the Director of the National Security Agency’s Commercial Solutions Center and a member of NSA’s Senior Leadership Team. Before that, Neuberger served as Special Assistant to the Director, NSA and on the U.S. Cyber Command Implementation Team. Prior to joining the NSA, Neuberger served as the Navy’s Deputy Chief Management Officer and a Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Navy, with responsibility for guiding Navy enterprise information technology programs. Neuberger first joined government service in 2007 as a White House Fellow, working for Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Neuberger earned an MBA, Beta Gamma Sigma, and a Masters of International Affairs from Columbia University. She graduated from Touro College, summa cum laude, where she was awarded the Hannah Lander Award for Academic Excellence and a Merit Scholarship.
Neuberger founded and runs Sister to Sister, a not for profit which provides a network of services for approximately 900 Jewish single mothers in 30 communities. She is also a board member of House of Ruth Maryland, which operates a domestic abuse shelter and other services for victim of domestic violence), and Stern College for Women. Neuberger grew up in Borough Park and attended Bais Yaakov of Borough Park. She is married and has two children.
Issamar Ginzberg, Inc. Top 10 Entrepreneneur and Marketing Guru – Business and Industry
Rabbi Issamar Ginzberg is a business strategy and marketing advisor, an award winning entrepreneur, and a public speaker–and he’s also a Chassidic rabbi and a descendant of the Nadvorna rabbinical dynasty. Ginzberg advises executives at publicly traded companies, as well as political figures and government ministers. His clients, His clients are located in over 30 states and countries, from Dubai to Japan, and include Oracle, Apple, and National Geographic. Ginzberg was named one of the “Top Ten Entrepreneurs” of the year by Inc. in 2006.
Ginzberg’s business advice has been featured in media outlets including CNBC, New York Times, Fox Business, and many more. A gifted public speaker, he has lectured to audiences in the thousands at organizations like Google, the Jewish National Fund, and Tel Aviv University. He also writes a weekly column for the Jerusalem Post and has been published in many other publications. He splits his time between New York and Israel and learns in yeshiva every morning. Ginzberg is married with four children.
Dr. Laurel Steinherz, Director of Pediatric Cardiology at Memorial Sloan Kettering & Co-Founder of Camp Simcha – Science and Medicine
Dr. Laurel Steinherz is the Director of Pediatric Cardiology at Memorial Sloan Kettering. She received her M.D. at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, did her residency at The New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center and St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and had fellowships at The New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center. Steinherz published some of the earliest research on the acute and long-term cardiac effects of cancer treatment. She served as the Chair of the Cardiology Committee of the Children’s Cancer Group (CCG) and wrote the CCG’s Guidelines for Cardiac Monitoring of pediatric patients, during and after therapy. These guidelines are still used throughout the United States and around the world. Steinherz designed specific cardiac monitoring incorporated in Memorial Sloan-Kettering and CCG treatment protocols. She was also an early advisor and participant in the design of the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study. The results of this research are being used to determine appropriate cardiac monitoring and interventions in survivors of pediatric cancers and to refine the treatment of patients today.
Steinherz is double board certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Cardiology and was named one of New York Family’s Top Pediatric Specialists in 2012. She and her husband also co-founded Camp Simcha, a renowned camp for Jewish children with cancer. She has four children with her husband and seventeen grandchildren. Her daughter is a pediatrician and her sons are all rabbis in Israel.
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.