Once a week you’ll find Eli Hagler in the radio studio down the hall from his office at OU headquarters in lower Manhattan. An energetic, articulate personality with a curious, charming nature, Eli is associate director of the Orthodox Union’s Yachad / National Jewish Council for Disabilities. He uses his experiences in that position to perform some other responsibilities: He engages with a global audience as host and producer of The OU Presents: The Jewish Reaction. It’s heard weekly on the Nachum Segal Network (NSN) where Eli discusses events and topics both within the OU and affecting the greater Jewish community.
The hour-long show features interviews and musical selections, either related to the topic at hand or favorites chosen by his guests. It airs Tuesdays at 9:00 a.m. ET on www.nachumsegal.com and on the NSN app, which is a free download for both iOS and Android devices. The OU Presents: The Jewish Reaction, and the rest of the Nachum Segal Network’s extensive weekly program schedule are archived as well, and available on demand and in podcast form.
The network begins each program day at 6:00 a.m. with JM in the AM, a morning-drive music and talk program hosted by Nachum Segal that is now in its 31st year. Nachum is internationally known and his studio has become a must-visit for political figures and other prominent individuals. A champion of the accomplishments of the Jewish people and a friend and partner of the Orthodox Union, Nachum brought JM in the AM last December to the Seymour J. Abrams Jerusalem World Center, headquarters of OU Israel; and the year before to the finish lines of the Miami and Jerusalem Marathons, cheering on Team Yachad. Last year a live edition of The Stunt Show, one of the online network’s weekly programs, originated from OU headquarters. OU leaders are regular guests on JM in the AM and other network programs in addition to The OU Presents: The Jewish Reaction.
As a student at Yeshiva University, Eli assisted at a weekly radio show on WYUR (the university’s radio station), but it was his laid-back demeanor and passion for connecting with others that drew Nachum Segal’s attention when Yachad arranged for JM in the AM to air live from the ING Miami Half-Marathon in January 2012.
“Eli brings a combination of professional experience and youthful enthusiasm to our microphone on a weekly basis,” Nachum said.
“There is something very intimate about radio,” added Miriam L. Wallach, general manager of the Nachum Segal Network, who invited Eli to join the NSN team. “People recognize Eli’s voice. He engages his listeners with his choice of language in posing questions and with the finesse of his words, and they react positively to it all.”
A native of the Village of Lawrence, on New York’s Long Island, Eli is a graduate of the Davis Renov Stahler Yeshiva High School for Boys (DRS) and earned a degree from the Sy Syms School of Business at Yeshiva University. In his primary role at Yachad, which promotes the inclusion of those with special needs within the broad Jewish community, Eli is responsible for ensuring the ongoing programmatic and educational success of Yachad in making sure that every Jew, with or without special needs, has a rightful place within the broad Jewish community. After completing his undergraduate degree in Business Management and Real Estate, Eli continued to work at Yeshiva University for five years — first serving as the Ronald P. Stanton Presidential Fellow in the Office of Student Affairs, and then as the assistant director of Undergraduate Admissions. After a year of study towards an MBA at CUNY Baruch’s Zicklin School of Business, Eli transferred to Baruch’s Masters of Public Administration program in order to focus on the non-profit world. He currently resides in Riverdale with his wife, Shani, a physician, and their three year-old daughter, Ava.
This January will be his 4th Miami Half-Marathon with Team Yachad.
As a young husband and father, a working professional, a passionate Jew, a loyal friend, and an outgoing advocate, Eli keeps his finger on the pulse of many Jewish communities around the NY/NJ area and across the country. Topics he’s discussed recently from behind the microphone include the latest activities to promote Inclusion in synagogues and schools, advocacy toward tuition affordability, awareness of alcohol safety, better understanding of Jewish prayer, and even preparing children for camp.
Now in its third season, The Jewish Reaction has become a key part of the programming on the Nachum Segal Network, according to Miriam Wallach.
“The show provides insight into and educates our audience about the vast array of programs and services that the Orthodox Union provides to Jews around the world, ” she said, “and without sounding preachy or promotional. Eli’s warm and engaging style make us very proud of this program and its professionalism and creative content.”
Coming up at 9:00 am ET on Tuesday Nov. 11, and Tuesday, Nov. 18, Eli will air a two-part roundtable discussion addressing the “singles crisis within the Jewish community.” The program will ask, first of all, if there is such a crisis, and then look at what we, as a community, can or should do about it. The programs will feature Rebbetzin Judi Steinig, associate director of OU Community Services; Marc Goldman, CEO and founder of SawYouAtSinai; Mindy Eisenman, staff connector at YUConnects; and Derek Saker, cofounder of Frumster (which became JWed).
“Programming like the upcoming two-part series on singles highlights why the Orthodox Union is proud to sponsor the program, and why Eli is the right guy to host it,” said Mayer Fertig, the OU’s chief communications officer. He is a longtime occasional substitute for Nachum Segal on JM in the AM, as well as part of a rotation of hosts for an NSN program called The Stunt Show.
In 2013 Eli appeared on a live edition of The Stunt Show, which that week took place at the OU’s offices, when he was challenged to a table tennis match by Estee Ackerman, a nationally-ranked player from West Hempstead, N.Y. She was still in middle school at the time and had just attracted very positive national attention for declining to compete on Shabbat in an important and lucrative championship tournament. “She destroyed me, but it was a fun experience,” reflected Eli. “It was entertaining, and that’s the hope—to get people interested in participating, listening, learning something new.”
And listen they do.
As a producer of quality online radio programming, NSN uses a commonly accepted industry method called aggregate tuning hours (ATH) to gauge listenership. “We’ve seen progressive growth into this season and, as of last month, have been enjoying our largest listenership ever,” Miriam Wallach revealed.
By researching downloads via online archives, NSN is tracking a steady uptick in listenership for Eli’s show. “We get a tremendous amount of anecdotal feedback from listeners and people who are drawn to Eli and enjoy what he is doing,” Wallach said. “He raises the bar for an online show to a very high level.”
Be sure to get your own reaction each Tuesday at 9:00 am ET, right after JM in the AM. Feel free to contact Eli with thoughts, ideas, and show topic suggestions, or to share an idea at HaglerE@ou.org or Eli@nachumsegal.com.
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.