New Voices has been proudly run by the young and inexperienced for over 40 years. Our editor in chief is always a recent college graduate, while the rest of the writing, editing, janitorial work, etc. is done entirely by college students.
Derek M. Kwait
Editor in Chief, New Voices
Executive Director, Jewish Student Press Service
Derek went with a friend to pack Crocs for poor Israeli kids at the JCC one day and somehow came out of it a journalist. He has no idea how this happened, he doesn’t even wear Crocs. From there, he went on to write and make videos for the Jewish Chronicle of Pittsburgh, graduate Pitt with a degree in creative writing, and publish just under 300 (298, in fact) articles on ehow.com. He spent the past two years in Jerusalem learning at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, the second as editor of its student blog, These & Those.
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Eliana began writing at the age of eleven in response to being told that one needed to be sixteen in order to publish Harry Potter fan fiction. The word “no” was not a part of her vocabulary at that time, and not much has really changed since. Despite an avid interest American politics, Eliana is Canadian and does not actually hold US citizenship. Following completion of high school in Toronto, Eliana attended midrasha in Israel for a year, where she co-founded an Israel advocacy initiative called AskMeMore. Eliana is currently a second year student at the IDC Herzliya, studying towards her B.A. in Government.
Eric got his start in journalism where everyone else gets their start―commentating the video games he was playing as a kid. And yes, somehow his created character was always the star of the show—a Jewish athletic miracle in itself. He used that passion to earn a degree in broadcast journalism and has been writing for various outlets ever since. He is always happy to share his opinion, listen to others and gain knowledge. When not writing, he can be found out and about asking “why?” to just about anything. Feel free to play along.
Between growing up in Cherry Hill, NJ and going to the University of Haifa for his freshman year of college, David was completely unaware that there existed places not filled with Jews until he went to college in North Jersey. Despite religion and politics being considered forbidden topics, in polite company David obsessively and unabashedly discusses both. David spent the last year at the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem where he fell in love with Torah study and Martin Buber. He spends his days now exploring his different beliefs in the hopes of creating one consistent philosophy that he dreams of sharing with the world.
Dani survived her Pittsburgh adolescence obsessing over a strange combination of Shakespeare, poetry, Jewish philosophy, and caffeine. Now, a newly minted “adult” at the University of Chicago, her primary concerns entail passing her Elementary Yiddish Class and discovering what it is she wants to do with the rest of her life on this planet. Until she decides upon the latter, she plans to occupy her time with focusing on keeping her caffeine-blood content at a non-lethal level and overthinking the Jewish aspects of the collegiate experience.
Amram is a New York native and grew up in southern Brooklyn. During his senior year of high school, Amram’s family moved to Linden, New Jersey, but he has since returned from his exile, and is living, once again, in New York, where he is in the first year of a joint program between the Jewish Theological Seminary and Columbia University. He has blogged for both The Huffington Post‘s teen section and MyJewishLearning.com. An avid reader of history books and listener of pop music, Amram can usually be found reading books about Jewish history while listening to Pink, fun., and Panic! At the Disco.
Jonathan P. Katz
Unlike Athena in Greek mythology, Jonathan did not emerge fully formed as a student at the University of Chicago. After growing up as the son of immigrants in the New York area, he is obsessed with immigration and diaspora – which he studies as a fourth-year history and geography major. He spends most of his time studying or writing about migrant spaces and buildings, and then being an “obnoxious uncle” in the campus Jewish community. When not being a student or writing about Jewish things, Jonathan enjoys reading, baking, and plane-spotting.
Sam is native of Long Island and currently a torn resident between Pittsburgh and his hometown, though he thankfully has neither a Long Island accent nor will he ever say yinz. Sam can commonly be found reading a stack of comic books or playing a game of darts, while, as his neighbors put it … “rocking out.” With an enthused interest in Israeli and American politics, he knows he can always start a contentious debate on issues far too serious for his liking. A recent graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Sam thoroughly enjoys tapping into the endless possibilities of his future.