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Arielle Angel, 36, Reviving Iconic Journal of the Jewish Left
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Israel36 Under 36 2021

Arielle Angel, 36, Reviving Iconic Journal of the Jewish Left

@ArielleLAngel 

The Jewish Week’s annual 36 Under 36 honors young leaders, entrepreneurs and change-makers who are making a difference in the life of Jewish New York. For the full list of this year’s “36ers,” click here.

What do you do?

I am the editor-in-chief of Jewish Currents, the 75-year-old journal of the Jewish left. In a little over three years in that role, the magazine has seen unprecedented growth, quadrupling its subscribers, web traffic and staff, and is at the largest incarnation in its history. We have attracted a new, young readership and an accomplished cohort of writers, including Peter Beinart, who came on in 2020 as editor-at-large. In a divisive and devastating year, Jewish Currents has become a reliable and essential space for challenging, rigorous, surprising work that has shifted the discourse even beyond the American Jewish left.

How does your Jewish identity influence your work?

It would be impossible to separate the two. I am wholly motivated by the inquiry into the meaning of Jewishness in the world, now. Jewish Currents is an attempt to iteratively explore that enormous, unanswerable question, piece by piece.

Was there a formative Jewish experience that influened your life path?

The assault on Gaza in 2014 and my subsequent joining of the anti-occupation group IfNotNow fundamentally altered my life path. IfNotNow brought me back into Jewish community — which I had mostly avoided in my young adulthood — and gave me a political home from which to grow and learn as an organizer, an artist and a Jewish person.

In one sentence, what was your best experience as a Jewish New Yorker?

The Occupy Yom Kippur Kol Nidre service conducted on the “people’s mic” at Zuccotti Park during Occupy Wall Street in 2011.

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