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JUF and Oy!Chicago announce second annual Jewish “36 Under 36” list

The list recognizes the amazing contributions of this generation of 20- and 30-somethings.

The Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago has announced the second annual “Double Chai in the Chi: 36 Under 36” list of young Jewish movers and shakers in Chicago.

(The letters of the Hebrew word “Chai,” which means “life,” also represent the number 18.)

Check out the list online at

Presented by the JUF/Federation’s Young Leadership Division (YLD) and Oy!Chicago ( – an outreach website for Chicago 20- and 30-somethings – the list shines a spotlight on Chicago's Jewish future and recognizes the amazing contributions of this generation. The young professionals featured are noted for making a difference through their work, giving back in their free time, and earning notoriety in the Jewish community and beyond.

“We were blown away by the high quality of the nominees this year,” said Stefanie Pervos Bregman, Founding Editor and Blogger-in-Chief for Oy!Chicago. “The 36 people on this year’s list are truly shaping the landscape of the Jewish community and bringing innovative ideas to Chicago.”

This year’s list includes an owner of Manny’s Deli, the Chicago assistant director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the founder of the breast cancer awareness organization Bright Pink, a young rabbi reinvigorating Judaism, a Huffington Post technology blogger, and a movie critic for RedEye – just to name a few.

“This list is an excellent way to recognize the inspiring contributions of young leaders of the Chicago Jewish community and to bring awareness to their impressive accomplishments,” said Brandon Prosansky, one of last year’s winners. “Each of this year's 36 Under 36 has demonstrated the vision and dedication to not only make the List, but, more important, to make a difference.”

Full profiles of each honoree are available on the Oy!Chicago website.

The 36 winners will be honored at YLD’s “WYLD on MagMile” party at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15, at Howells & Hood, 435 N Michigan Ave, Chicago. The party is open to the public. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. To register, visit  or e-mail Register early – last year’s party completely sold out!

The 36 named to this year’s list are:

Olga Abezgauz, 31, active leader for Chicago’s Russian Jewish community

Doug Adolph, 28, Director of Development at the Alzheimer’s Association and board member of the B’nai Brith Sports Lodge

Lindsay Avner, 30, Founder and CEO of the Bright Pink breast cancer awareness program

Steven Dyme, 22, Founder and owner of Flowers for Dreams, a socially conscious floral service

Karyn Bass Ehler, 35, civil rights attorney and founding board member of the Jewish Women’s Center

Leslie Fields, 31, Director of Policy for the Office of Illinois Governor

Aaron Frazin, 23, Founder, CEO of Charlie (, a business app developer, and Huffington Post tech blogger

Tziporah Gelman, 32, Founder, Frumba Chicago, a Zumba program geared toward Jewish women

Anton German, 28, Founder and CMO at BayRu, LLC, an online retailer selling U.S. goods to consumers in the former Soviet Union

David Goldenberg, 34, Consultant, JUF lay leader and former Hebrew school teacher and BBYO advisor

Adam Grossman, 33, raised more than $20 million in investment capital for Israel through the sales of Israel Bonds

Teri Herbstman, 27, Chicago Assistant Director of AIPAC

Gary Hirschberg, 34, V.P. at Goldman Sachs & Co., launched an international Jewish exchange program, served on the board of both International Hillel and Vanderbilt Hillel

Scott Issen, 34, President & CEO of the Future Founders Foundation

Jen Leemis, 34, Senior Manager of Brand Marketing at, JUF lay leader and 2013 winner of JUF’s Davis, Gidwitz & Glasser Young Leadership Award

Marc Levy, 28, research analyst, activist in the Anti-Defamation League’s Glass Leadership Institute

Rabbi Ari Moffic, 36, Director of InterfaithFamily/Chicago

Matt Pais, 30, RedEye movie critic and music editor

Gregory Pekarsky, 28, Owner/Broker, Vesta Preferred, LLC, and named one of REALTOR® Magazine’s 30 under 30

Lindsay Pinchuk, 33, President and Founder of Bump Club and Beyond

Brian Price, 29, C.O.O. of Mesirow Financial’s Investment Banking Group, founding member and chair of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Young Associate Committee, and active member of the Standard Club Board of Directors

Daniel Raskin, 30, Vice President at Manny's Cafeteria and Delicatessen

Amy Ravit Korin, 34, Community Manager Lead at Google and founder of interactiveAmy Social Media Consulting

Matthew Rissien, 26, created an original Purim rap music video that has more than 18,000 views on YouTube

Allison Rosenfeld, 27, Educator/Advisor at the Jewish Student Connection

Stacy Rudd, 30, Director of Academic Affairs for the Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest

David Meir Russo, 28, Rabbi, Anshe Emet Synagogue

Joe Siegle, 30, commercial real estate developer, President of YLD Board at JUF, and board member at River North Chicago Dance Company and Next Generation

Naomi Shapiro, 34, North American Director of Shorashim

Rachel Stein, 36, Serves on JCC's Women's Auxiliary Board, Family Service of Glencoe's Board, and JUF's Young Women's Board and Executive Board

Lisa Stoller, 26, Development Associate and Event Planner for Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice and founder of the Chicago chapter of I AM THAT GIRL

Claire Sufrin, 35, Northwestern lecturer, innovative Jewish scholar and educator

Adam Tarantur, 30, commercial real estate broker, active on the Executive Board of Directors for the Jewish Council for Youth Services (JCYS)

Shelly Weiss, 28, Genetic Counselor/Regional Medical Specialist, promotes awareness and empowerment of hereditary conditions to Ashkenazi Jews

Jeff Wurtzel, 35, Brand Manager at the Wrigley Company, a Subsid  iary of Mars, Inc., and one of the American Jewish Committee’s youngest board members

Logan Zinman, 26, Regional Director of Youth Engagement for NFTY’s Chicago Area Region


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