Storytellers Spotlight: Jewish American storyteller creates nonprofit to change negative perceptions

ByNzinga Blake, Sierra Stoltzfus, Shako Liu & Jessica Dominguez OTRC logo
Thursday, May 18, 2023
Storytellers Spotlight: The storyteller behind "Jew in the City"
Allison Josephs created "Jew in the City" to help change negative stereotypes and fight antisemitism through storytelling.

Allison Josephs is a Jewish American storyteller who created "Jew in the City," a nonprofit with a mission to change negatives perceptions about the Orthodox Jewish community through storytelling.

"I was frustrated with the media's depictions of my community. And I knew that I could share a more authentic and nuanced story," said Josephs.

Josephs says there is often confusion surrounding Jewish people, the culture and religion so through her online platform, she set out to decipher misinformation, educate and inform a worldwide audience specifically about the Orthodox Jewish community.

From traditions and faith practices to everyday family customs, Josephs shares all facets of her life as an Orthodox Jewish woman. She says this allows her to help break down stereotypes, but also to highlight and celebrate sides of Judaism she feels is so often unseen.

"So much of Jewish life is actually imbued with joy. And that's part of what we tried to show," said Josephs. "We show that you can live a fabulous life keeping kosher, traveling around the world dressing beautifully, that we can both live proudly and strongly in our traditions and also benefit from the most beautiful parts of the world."

The platform has expanded opportunities, such as speaking engagements allowing her to tackle misconceptions and discuss the rise of antisemitism. Josephs also created the "Jewish Hollywood Bureau" organization.

"We're meeting with the studios, we're advocating for the fact that we also need whole characters, we need nuanced characters, we need consultants in the room to make sure that we're getting the details right," said Josephs. "Because when you don't see someone wholly human, it makes it much easier to dehumanize them."

Josephs' message to those in the Jewish community who may hesitate to fully embrace the culture for different reasons, is to take some time to learn more about Jewish heritage because she believes there is so much beauty and knowledge to discover and be proud of.

Watch the video above for the whole story.

For more information about "Jew in the City" nonprofit: