Mitzvah Maker – Allison

Mitzvah Maker - Allison

Where did the name “Jew in the City” come from?
I was looking for something catchy to call the YouTube show I wanted to create, and I started thinking about who I am. I’m Jewish, I live in the city, so I put the two together. People assume that I was trying to play off of the title from a not so, em, kosher, HBO series, but that was not where the idea came from — and if you ask my lawyer, he’ll concur 🙂

What inspired you to do Jew in the City?
After ten years of working in Jewish outreach and speaking to thousands of unaffiliated Jews, it occurred to me one day that most people don’t like Orthodox Jews. That’s how I was raised (in my Conservative background) and that’s the reaction I got from most non-Orthodox Jews and non-Jews I spoke to. I wanted to get a message out to the world that it’s possible to be religious: kosher-eating, Sabbath-observing, wig-wearing religious, and STILL be normal and open-minded and funny. So I saw this YouTube show called “LonelyGirl15” about a 16 year old girl that let people into her fictional life, and I saw that the audience really cared about what she had to say due the personal touch the show had. That gave me the idea to create my own YouTube show in order to open up the usually closed-off world of an Orthodox Jew to the rest of the world.

Other than the Jews in DC, where are your favorite city Jews?
New York City, of course!

What is your favorite episode of Jew in the City?
Definitely, episode 7, “The Jewish Afterlife.” I get to show off my French in that one. I even sent it to my high school French teacher who’s Jewish. (She was really proud which I’m hoping evened things up regarding my French AP score…, that didn’t go quite so well!)

Who is the coolest Jew you have met so far?
Well, I know a lot of cool Jews, but it’s pretty cool when you star in your own prime time network television show and I only know one Jew who did that – Mayim Bialik – my telephone Torah study partner. Not only is she a cool Jew, the story about how we met is pretty wild!

Where can we find out more information?
Just check out my site where I regularly write short funny articles and Q&A’s between videos. If you have any questions about Judaism or Orthodox Jews, you can drop me a line at and maybe your question will make it to the site.

Shana tova to all!!

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