Growing up, Danya read Macbeth in Hebrew at Jewish day school, made out with a Jewfro-ed counselor in the red gazebo at Jewish summer camp, and sang Shabbat songs around the piano every week with her Zionist mother, yarmulke-wearing father, and siblings. She made the pilgrimage to the Lower East Side of NYC after college (which baffled her 99-year-old, Brooklyn-born grandmother who only went there to buy furniture), joined the board of a Jewish non-profit and tried out hippie synagogues in Park Slope and matchmaking ones on the Upper West Side.
But she loved her potluck Shabbat dinners the most, so she co-founded Pop-Up Shabbat, a pop-up restaurant inspired by Jewish culture and open to all, with her husband, Andrew, and their friend Melissa Dain. Danya noticed a huge, gaping hole in the world for more relevant and inclusive Jewish touchpoints, so she started writing The Ish to continue helping connect people (not just Members of the Tribe!) to Jewish life and culture in a more modern way.
Photography by Mark Thompson.