How To Sell Judaism
Archie Gottesman got New Yorkers to love a storage company. Can she get Jews to love being Jewish?
If you’ve spent any time on the streets or subways of New York City in the past decade, you’ve probably encountered the ads for Manhattan Mini Storage. The company is famous for its no-holds-barred billboards and subway posters, which sometimes poke fun at New Yorkers’ over-crowded lives, and other times skewer those who don’t hold unapologotically liberal political views. As chief branding officer of Edison Properties, the parent company of Manhattan Mini Storage, Archie Gottesman is the brains and wit behind those ads. She’s third-generation in the real-estate business and was eager to find a way to make the job of selling storage space more fun.
Gottesman later found herself provoking and entertaining readers with a different marketing effort. Despairing over the take-it-or-leave-it attitude many of her Jewish friends and neighbors held with regard to their religious birthright, she published a call to arms that she dubbed a “New Ten Commandments.” We invited Gottesman to speak with guest host Julie Burstein about this new mission, figuring if there’s anyone who can reengage Jews in Jewishness, it’s the woman who made many, if not all, New Yorkers come to have feelings of affection for a storage company. [Running time: 26:28.]
When we fled Cuba in 1962, my uncle stayed. He died 50 years later, without ever explaining his decision.