We are proud to present the seventh annual edition of 36 Under 36 this week, with the State of Israel Bonds as sponsor in recognizing the importance of highlighting the creativity, commitment and accomplishments of the next generation of American Jewish trendsetters.
With this year’s crop, we now have more than 250 alumni, many of them having graduated from “emerging” leaders to full positions of responsibility throughout the community.
We hope that reading about these young men and women in the categories of social justice, medicine, volunteerism, business, activism, media, politics, arts, education and sports will encourage others, of all ages, to become involved in changing the world for good. The special section, curated by contributing editor Heather Robinson and written by her and more than a dozen colleagues, offers a wide range of profiles. They include activists who are coordinating disaster relief in the Philippines, bringing music and joy to a pediatric oncology ward in the Bronx, preserving the Yiddish language, offering support for low-income businesses and championing the cause of Israel on campus.
At a time when surveys of the Jewish community indicate that young people are less affiliated with synagogues and Jewish organizations, distancing themselves from Israel and the sense of Jewish Peoplehood, 36 Under 36 underscores that statistics and demographics tell us only so much about the heart and soul of a community. The young people highlighted in these pages combine the American spirit of individual freedom and activism with the Jewish embrace of the collective. And the results are impressive and inspiring.