By Tammy Aryeh
It takes a really special person to take a difficult situation and turn it into something positive. Allison Josephs had a fortunate childhood. She lived in a nice community, had a pool in her backyard, many friends and a wonderful, yet non-observant family. When Alison was 8 years old, her ideal childhood changed. A schoolmate, Angela, who she looked up to in the grade above, was shockingly murdered by her father. After this incident, Allison started to question what life was about, what could she do in life to make it meaningful, and what is beyond this world.
Allison looked for a greater understanding of life and began learning more about Judaism. She learned Pirkei Avot at age 15, and at age 16, she went to Hawaii and saw a tropical tree. This tree was one of the most beautiful creations she had ever seen and she wondered how it came to be so beautiful. She arrived to the conclusion that it was Hashem who made this tree. This revelation opened Allison eyes to see that the whole world is made by Hashem. When she saw an Orthodox Jew for the first time she was surprised that the Jew was allowed to smile. She thought that Orthodox Jews were not allowed to laugh or do many other normal things.
When Allison went to Israel at the age of 18 she decided that she wanted to become an Orthodox Jew. She talked this over with her parents who thought she was crazy! She told her parents that they should learn some Torah themselves, so that they could gain a better understanding as to why she wanted to become Torah observant. Her parents started learning and then saw the greatness of Hashem and the Jewish religion. Her parents decided that not only should Allison become observant, but all of the family should become frum as well.
Allison took her personal experiences and created the website www.JewintheCity.com. She wanted to make Yiddishkeit look less intimidating to people who are not observant. She wanted to give every Jew a chance to experience frumkeit in a good way. The website talks about becoming more observant and many different Mitzvot. It has funny videos, myths, and talks about the afterlife. It explains G-d and the Torah.
Allison Josephs is an amazing role model. She takes her very personal experience, shares it with the world and hopes to make a positive impact in the lives of others. She would like to tell our readers to “keep in mind that anything you want to do in life, you should go for it, and you’ll be successful. It may require a lot of time and Hashgacha Pratis (Divine Providence), but Hashem will help you if you work at it.”