36 Under 36

Every year we honor 36 outstanding Jewish young adults who make a difference in their professional work, volunteering and involvement in our community through Double Chai in the Chi: Chicago’s Jewish 36 Under 36 List. Check out the most recent list and read about past honorees below.

Double Chai Check-In: Kevin Friduss photo
It’s only been a year since Kevin Friduss was named “36 Under 36” and he’s already added a house, a baby and a promotion to his resume.
Double Chai Check-In: Annie Warshaw photo
Annie Warshaw, CEO and co-founder of Mission Propelle, has been hard at work since being named one of 2014’s Double Chai in the Chi.
Double Chai Check-In: Gail Eisenberg photo
Gail Schnitzer Eisenberg continues to be as busy as ever since her induction into the 2015 class of Double Chai in the Chi: Chicago’s Jewish 36 Under 36 list.
36-2017 photo
Who is an extraordinary Jew you know? We are once again looking for young leaders, humanitarians, educators, social activists -- the young adult movers and shakers of Chicago -- to recognize on our annual Double Chai in the Chi: Chicago's Jewish 36 under 36 list.
Double Chai Check-In: Daniel Caspi is making BACON photo

Dan Caspi is working to change the way students think of organic chemistry. In addition to his pharmaceutical research for Hepatitis C, the 2014 Double Chai in Chi: Chicago's Jewish 36 under 36 list honoree is working alongside UCLA Professor Neil Garg to develop BACON.

Double Chai Check-In: Laurie Grauer photo 1

If the whole world is, according to Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav, a gesher tzar m’od, or a “very narrow bridge,” then Laurie Grauer is working tirelessly to make it wider.

Double Chai Check-In: Asha Goldstein photo

Asha Goldstein’s decision to convert to Judaism was not about her. Although becoming a Jew by choice in 2008 played a big role in developing her identity as a Jewish woman, Goldstein’s embrace of Judaism was more about adopting a set of values that emphasizes helping others, and bringing her family closer.

Double Chai Check-In: Benjamin Lachman photo

Now is the best time to be deaf – at least according to Benjamin Lachman, a driving force behind the “Cued Speech” movement and a 2014 honoree of Oy!Chicago and YLD’s Double Chai in the Chi, 36 Under 36 list.

Double Chai Check-In: Scott Issen photo2

If you’re a big proponent of the phrase “our youth are our future,” then Scott Issen is a pretty important guy. As the co-founder of the Future Founders Foundation, Issen helps students in underserved areas as young as second grade explore entrepreneurship, building the skills and business plans that will lead them to successful careers as adults.

Double Chai Check-In: Cameron Smith photo_md

When he was named to Oy!Chicago and JUF’s Young Leadership Division’s inaugural 36 under 36 list, Cameron Smith had only dreamed of what the next great Chicago day school would look like. Two years later, the school has not only opened its doors, but quickly become a bustling learning environment.

Double Chai Check-In: Matt Rissien photo_md

Matt Rissien’s dedication to the Jewish community, especially to younger generations, has only grown since being named one of Chicago’s Jewish 36 Under 36 in 2013. He has continued to find new ways to engage Jewish youth as director of youth activities at Congregation Beth Shalom in Northbrook, including revamping the congregation’s youth lounge.

Double Chai Check-In: Rabbi David Russo photo_md

As his third year at Anshe Emet Synagogue comes to an end, Rabbi David Russo has seen firsthand just how much a Jewish community can grow in a short time. Honored as one of the 2013 Double Chai in the Chi, Russo continues to enhance Jewish engagement in Chicago both in terms of involvement and also social justice.

Double Chai Check-In: Joel Holland photo_md

Joel Holland is passionate about finding people homes. In his work as a brokerage manager at Homescout Realty, he helps prospective renters and buyers find places to live and plan for the future, and in a great deal of his spare time, he serves organizations that provide people with less literal but equally as important homes.

Double Chai Check-In: Lizzi Heydemann photo_md

Rabbi Lizzi Jill Honeyrose Heydemann really wants to play kickball. As the spiritual leader, organizer and visionary of the spiritual community Mishkan Chicago, Heydemann often finds her time in demand between leading services, teaching, coffee shop one-on-ones and life cycle events, but as Mishkan continues to grow rapidly, she's been able to both hire and inspire more leadership and create more time for her other favorite things, like lakefront runs, spending time with friends and - maybe one day soon - kickball.

Double Chai Check-In: Roslyn Turner photo_md

It was on a boat on Lake Michigan at last year's WYLD on the Water party, which celebrated her and the other 35 honorees of Chicago's first ever Jewish 36 Under 36 list, when Roslyn Turner realized it was time to give back in not just her spare time, but her professional time.

Double Chai Check-In: What’s new with Amy Witt photo_md

Since being named to Double Chai in the Chi: Chicago’s first ever Jewish 36 under 36 list last year, Amy Witt has been busy making Chicago a healthier place. Witt, who grew up in Deerfield, spends her days as the director of development and strategy for Chicago Run, a local non-profit that promotes health and wellness initiatives for high-needs Chicago public schools.

Double Chai Check-In: What’s new with Benjamin Singer photo_md

When 2012 Double Chai in the Chi honoree Benjamin Singer wrote to us about where he saw himself in 10 years, he didn’t realize how much of that he would accomplish in the first lap. “I'd like to manage an organization that works with business, political, and grassroots leaders to advocate for improved ways to run our elections,” he wrote last summer.


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