The Jewish Week's fifth annual "36 Under 36" list of innovative young Jewish leaders includes three alumni of The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS): Bryan Lipsky, Alicia Jo Rabins, and Heather Stoltz have all been recognized for their achievements.
Bryan Lipsky is an alumnus of JTS's Joint Program with Columbia University, through which he received a BA in Jewish History, cum laude, from JTS and a BA in American History from Columbia. He earned his JD at Fordham University School of Law and become an attorney at Herzfeld & Rubin, PC. Mr. Lipsky is president and cofounder of the nonprofit LEB MEDICULS, which draws on the Jewish values he cultivated at JTS to raise funds for worthy causes. His group combines the principles of charity and entertainment to host two to three benefit events a year in New York City. Each fund-raiser serves a different medical charity in Israel or the United States, and helps promote awareness of its cause. Recent charities have included the Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Save a Child's Heart, and Keren Or. Mr. Lipsky has served as a board member of the Columbia/Barnard Hillel Emerging Leaders Alumni Association, and received a 2009–2010 Shapiro Family Fellowship, which helps young Jewish leaders further their knowledge of Israel.
Alicia Jo Rabins earned an MA in Jewish Women's Studies from JTS, in addition to an MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College and a BA in English and Creative Writing, magna cum laude, from Barnard College. Ms. Rabins has fused her background in Jewish studies, poetry, and music—she is a lifelong violinist and a former member of the klezmer-punk band Golem—to create an indie-folk song cycle about women in Torah, now recorded with her group under the name Girls in Trouble. She initially devised the songs as annotated musical midrashim for her thesis project at JTS, which was supervised by Rabbi Burton L. Visotzky, Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies, then received a three-album record deal with JDub Records. Ms. Rabins's group has recorded two albums thus far; the third is forthcoming. Girls in Trouble have given concerts in clubs, theaters, and synagogues across the United States and internationally; they also performed at an event for the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies of JTS in 2011. Ms. Rabins often teaches the texts on which the songs are based in conjunction with performances. She holds the Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists, as well as a LABA fellowship at the 14th Street Y in New York City.
Heather Stoltz also received an MA in Jewish Women's Studies from JTS, along with bachelor's degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Jewish Studies, magna cum laude, from Lafayette College. Ms. Stoltz creates handmade fiber art that draws on Judaica and themes of social justice. Her craft combines a background in Jewish learning and community service that includes her studies at JTS, work with the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, and the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue; hands-on experience as a design engineer; and the quilting skills she learned from her mother. Ms. Stoltz's recent work includes a traveling installation titled "Temporary Shelter," which features quilts inspired by people at homeless shelters in New York City and displayed in a sukkah-like structure, as well as a published book called Temporary Shelter: An Art Installation About Homeless New Yorkers. Her work has appeared in a variety of exhibitions, and is available on her website. Ms. Stoltz is the copresident of the Women's Caucus for Art New York Chapter, and received a 2011 Manhattan Community Arts Fund grant.