About Zeek

Zeek is a catalyst for conversations about the Jewish tomorrow.

Founded in 2001, Zeek relaunched in late February 2013 as a hub for the domestic Jewish social justice movement, one that showcases the people, ideas and conversations driving an inclusive and diverse progressive Jewish community. At the same time, we’ve reaffirmed our commitment to building on Zeek’s reputation for original, ahead-of-the-curve Jewish writing and arts, culture and spirituality content, incubating emerging voices and artists, as well as established ones.

We strive to build momentum around the many different ways Jews pursue justice in America, creating a platform for engagement and collaboration while strengthening the ties between social justice and Judaism. And keeping a sense of humor.

We aim to open minds and hearts to change in the Jewish world, introducing new ideas and new ways of being Jewish and aid you, our readers, to find a Jewish identity that works for you. In this, Zeek has already met with success: We’ve won awards, including several Rockowers, and over the years we’ve helped change the shape of discourse among thought leaders with our ahead-of-the-curve coverage of the food, minyan, social justice and healing movements.

Zeek is a fiercely independent online Jewish magazine housed on the Forward website. Because we’re independent, Zeek is able – and unafraid – to face the most challenging problems in the Jewish world head on. However, that also means that we’re not sponsored by a large foundation or a single donor. We rely on support from you, our readers, our donors, and our allies.

We’re glad you’re here! Thanks for being engaged in our community! We’d love your help moving the conversation forward. Comment on our articles! And please, follow us on Facebook and @ZeekMag.

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We’d love to tell you about ZEEK sponsorship opportunities. Write to our editor ebrody at Zeek.net.

The Zeek Team

Erica Brody
Zeek Board:
Jo Ellen Green Kaiser (chair), Rabbi Rachel Barenblat, Steven M. Cohen, Sarah Seltzer, Merrill Zack, and Erica Brody

Jo Ellen Green Kaiser is the executive director of The Media Consortium.

Passionate about mission-driven independent media, Jo Ellen has worked for a succession of independent magazines, including stints as executive director and editor-in-chief of Zeek, managing editor and associate publisher of Tikkun, and publisher of LiP: Informed Revolt. She is driven by a belief that democratic societies thrive only when their members have access to accurate information and informed opinion. A leading figure in Jewish media, Jo Ellen is an expert on the Jewish social justice movement. She is the co-editor of Righteous Indignation: A Jewish Response to Justice (Jewish Lights) and co-led the Righteous Indignation Project. She has written about Jewish social justice for a number of publications, including The Jewish Daily Forward, Sojourners, Tikkun and Interfaithfamily.com.

Jo Ellen received a BA at Yale University and a PhD in English from University of California, Berkeley. She taught modern poetry, women’s studies and literary theory for six years at the University of Kentucky before leaving academia for media. Jo Ellen grew up in Oak Park, Illinois, and makes her home now in San Francisco.

Rabbi Rachel Barenblat was ordained by ALEPH: the Alliance for Jewish Renewal in 2011. She holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars and is author of three book-length collections of poetry: 70 faces: Torah poems (Phoenicia Publishing, 2011), Waiting to Unfold (Phoenicia, 2013), and the forthcoming Open My Lips (Ben Yehuda, 2014), as well as several chapbooks of poetry.

A 2012 Rabbis Without Borders Fellow, she participated in a 2009 retreat for Emerging Jewish and Muslim Religious Leaders in 2009, and in 2014 will serve as faculty for that retreat. Since 2003 she has blogged as The Velveteen Rabbi; in 2008, TIME named her blog one of the top 25 sites on the internet. She has been an off-and-on contributor to Zeek since 2005.

She serves Congregation Beth Israel, a small Reform-affiliated congregation in western Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband, Ethan Zuckerman, and their son.

Steven M. Cohen is Research Professor of Jewish Social Policy at HUC-JIR, and Director of the Berman Jewish Policy Archive at NYU Wagner. In 1992 he made aliya, and taught for 14 years at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. With Arnold Eisen, he wrote The Jew Within, and with Charles Liebman he wrote Two Worlds of Judaism: The Israeli and American Experiences. His earlier books include American Modernity & Jewish Identity and American Assimilation or Jewish Revival? He was the lead researcher on the Jewish Community Study of New York: 2011.

He received an honorary doctorate from the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, the Marshall Sklare Award of the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry, and a National Jewish Book Award. He had been cited as one of the Forward Fifty. In 2012, he was elected president of the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry.

He is married to Rabbi Marion Lev-Cohen, and they live in Jerusalem and New York. His daughter, Edeet, is a public interest attorney in Israel, and his son, Adam, lives in New Jersey with his wife and two children.

Sarah Marian Seltzer is a journalist and fiction writer based in New York City. As a journalist, she covers culture, activism and gender and has written for The LA Times, Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Ms., and Bitch Magazine. Online, she’s written and blogged for The New York Times, Te Christian Science Monitor, Salon, AlterNet, The Nation, The Wall Street Journal, Jezebel, The Frisky, The Hairpin, The Rumpus, Rolling Stone, The Daily Beast, and Mother Jones. She’s been quoted in The Boston Globe and The Washington Post and appeared on NPR, MSNBC, and Sirius XM talk radio. She is a contributor to Zeek and the Jewish Daily Forward’s Sisterhood blog.

Sarah’s recent short story “Ironing” was a winner of Lilith Magazine’s 2013 prize. Her in-progress novel-in-stories, which began as an MFA thesis at Vermont College of Fine Arts, received a grant from the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute. She’s written for the LABA journal as the program’s 2012-13 Journal Fellow and was part of the inaugural class of TENT: Creative Writing at the Yiddish Book Center. Find her at www.sarahmseltzer.com and tweeting too much at @sarahmseltzer.

Merrill Zack is the director of Strategic Learning, Research and Evaluation for National Programs at the American Jewish World Service, where she develops learning and evaluation processes that support national programs staff in creating and leading innovative, evidence-based initiatives that mobilize supporters in the US to advocate for global justice.

For the last 18 years, Merrill has directed initiatives at several Jewish social justice organizations, all of which engaged segments of the US Jewish community in putting their Jewish values into action for social change across a broad spectrum of domestic and global issues.

Merrill graduated from Kenyon College with a BA in religion and anthropology and holds an MPA in public and nonprofit administration and policy from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University.

Erica Brody is an editor, writer and strategist committed to progressive causes. She believes that a diverse, inclusive Jewish community is good for everyone, and strongest when it is reflective, supportive, and innovative. She also believes that social change is social. And that it can be fun. She is Zeek Magazine’s part-time editor in chief and executive director.

For a decade and a half, she’s worked at the intersection of Judaism, justice and journalism, including at Bend the Arc/Jewish Funds for Justice, the National Council of Jewish Women, and the Forward. She’s written about policy, arts and culture, women’s rights, activism, economic justice, religion, and anti-poverty strategies. As an editor, she’s helped hundreds of emerging and established Jewish writers of all stripes develop their voices and writing.

Erica is a proud native New Yorker, news and culture glutton, mamale, feminist wife, street art lover, writing coach and communications consultant. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, daughter, and two plump cats.

Founding Editor:
Jay Michaelson
Contributing Editors and Writers (being updated):
Jo Ellen Green Kaiser, Rabbi Rachel Barenblat, Erica Brody, Mae Singerman, Jay Michaelson, Chanel Dubofsky, Sarah Seltzer, Alexander Nemser

Zeek Advisors:
Jennifer Bleyer, Jeremy Burton, JJ Goldberg, Jo Ellen Green Kaiser, Alyssa Katz, Rabbi Jill Jacobs, Mik Moore, Jacqueline Nicholls, Yona Verwer.

Simon Abramson
Advertising Director:
David Kelsey

Support Zeek? Yes, please do!

Help make Zeek a strong, sustainable magazine.

It’s easy: Just click here to make a much-appreciated, tax deductible online donation to Zeek.
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Financial support from readers, allies and partners helps keeps Zeek online and independent! Also, it keeps our content free, which is why we’re so grateful to our supporters.**

Direct donations can be made to Zeek (not deductible) by check, and mailed to:

Zeek Magazine
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Thanks so much. And since some things are worth repeating: Thank you! Toda raba! A sheynem dank!

Yes, We Are Looking for Original Content!

Zeek is interested in hearing from journalists, writers, poets and graphic and visual artists who are interested in making Zeek zing!

We’re thrilled that you want to write for Zeek, or have your artwork or illustrations featured.

What kind of content is Zeek looking for? Great writing in a variety of styles and voices, original thinking, and accessible content. That means we’re interested in hearing your ideas for first-person essays, reflections and commentary, reporting, profiles, Q & As, analysis, infographics and more. For the near future, Zeek will focus on domestic issues. Our discourse will be civil.

Pitches should be sent to zeek@zeek.net, with “submission” or “pitch” in the subject line. And please include a little bit about yourself and why you think your pitch is a good fit for Zeek. [Full disclosure: Zeek does not pay contributors.]

If you’ve already submitted content and haven’t heard back, we appreciate your bearing with us. Feel free to follow up if you haven’t heard back after six weeks, sooner for time-driven pitches. We are currently not accepting fiction submissions.

Intern or Volunteer for Zeek

Zeek is seeking interns and volunteers who support our vision and love our magazine, from generalists to graphic design interns with a passion for data visualization, as well as phenomenal editorial, development and social media interns. Write to us and tell us why you’d like to be a Zeek intern! Contact us!

Zeek is also interested in hearing from potential volunteers with relevant professional editing, design, social media and marketing skills. Contact us!

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