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Welcoming the Fall 2020 Tablet Journalism Fellows

A group diverse in all ways—including age, religion, and home country—joins Tablet for three months

Tablet Magazine
October 02, 2020

Here at Tablet, we have had interns before, usually in the summer and usually no more than one or two at a time. But when COVID upended everybody’s plans, we got thinking: There must be a world of talented, aspiring journalists—including, but not limited to, college students taking time off—looking for a meaningful way to use their time.

So we ran an experiment, advertising for a class of 10 fellows, who would join Tablet for three months to work with us, learn from us, and, we were sure, learn from each other. The paid, part-time positions attracted more than 200 candidates from all over the world, and the gifted applicant pool included high schoolers and retirees; Jews and gentiles; the observant and the proudly secular. It included a sommelier and more than one soldier, published writers and avid amateurs.

After interviewing 50 finalists, we are delighted to welcome these 10 Tablet Journalism Fellows, who will work with us from October through December:

Ross Anderson is a British film critic and essayist on culture and politics. He is a heterodox liberal, focused on a wide range of issues, including constitutional law, applied ethics, electoral politics, pornography, consumer tech, and artificial intelligence. Having taught A-level politics at a private school during his gap year, he currently studies honours philosophy and film studies. “His work has been featured in spiked! and in his Medium publication, That Ross Chap.

Isaac de Castro is a senior at Cornell University currently studying history of architecture and urban development. Originally from Panama City, Isaac comes from a tightknit Sephardi Jewish community and moved to the United States for schools. Isaac’s interests extend in the realm of Jewish culture. He recently co-founded Jewish on Campus, a social media-based organization that focuses on fighting and bringing attention to anti-Semitism on college campuses, and also launched a podcast, Jewish Identity Crisis, in which he explores different topics affecting the young Jewish community. He enjoys buildings, museums, and dogs.

Clayton Fox is a writer, wine seller, and Jewish teen educator living in Los Angeles. When he was still primarily an actor, his bubbe would tell him he should, “Write a book. All those Hollywood people are meshugeneh. It’s no life, the way they live, it’s no life. Be a writer. Write a book.” When he does, it will surely be dedicated to her. Among the living, he would very much like to gather Mel Brooks, Bernard-Henri Lévy, Etgar Keret, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Efraim Zuroff in a room with lots of rich, dark wood for a rousing rendition of “Haben Sie Gehört Das Deutsches Band?” lots of laughter, and cigars at the end of the world.

Nomi Kaltmann is from Melbourne, Australia. After earning her Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Liberal Arts in politics and Jewish civilizations from Monash University, Nomi became the first Australian woman to enroll in the Yeshivat Maharat four-year Semikha program. She also holds a master’s degree in legal practice from the Australian National University. Previously Nomi has worked for the shadow attorney general of Australia and as an adviser to the former minister for small business in the Victorian Legislative Assembly. Nomi also coordinated and accompanied a parliamentary delegation to Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Specializing in charities and not-for-profit law, Nomi has worked for the Australian Charities Commission. Nomi is one of the founding members of the Women’s Orthodox Tefillah Group in Victoria. She is also the inaugural president of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance in Australia, which she looks forward to formally launching in Australia when COVID-19 restrictions ease.

Leon Kraiem is a lifelong New Yorker, currently living at home and finishing his senior year at Brandeis University, with a major in philosophy and a minor in Near Eastern and Judaic studies. From 2017-18, he studied at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem. When he’s not birdwatching, or falling down extremist or fundamentalist rabbit holes on the internet, he’s a volunteer advocate at the Right to Immigration Institute in Waltham, Massachusetts, a pro bono legal clinic serving mostly asylum seekers. He has a very sweet Tibetan terrier named Terra, who is 11 years old, but more youthful and popular than any person he knows. Leon is a longtime vegan.

Maggie Phillips has written for Military Review, Army Magazine, and various online and print publications for the military community. A professional content writer who specializes in SEO, she enjoys writing about culture, faith, politics, and literature in her free time. She also performs the occasional stand-up gig. This subsidized hobby has afforded her the opportunity to perform for the secretary of defense, a cast member from MTV’s Teen Wolf, and Craig from Craigslist—at the same time. Maggie is a proud army brat, army spouse, and mother of three.

Karys Rhea is a writer/researcher and drummer/songwriter living in Brooklyn. She is currently the manager of strategic research and writing at a nonprofit focusing on anti-Semitism and BDS within the entertainment industry. Prior to that, she was involved with the Middle East Forum, Algemeiner, CAMERA, Gatestone Institute, Jewish National Fund, Birthright Israel, and the David Project. Karys’ news articles and op-eds have been published in dozens of media outlets, including the New York Daily News, Commentary magazine, and the Los Angeles Jewish Journal. Karys graduated with an honors double degree in journalism and religious studies from New York University and received her master’s degree from Israel’s IDC Herzliya in counterterrorism and homeland security with a specialization in cybersecurity. In addition to her passion for Middle Eastern affairs and related matters, Karys has been active in various music projects and has toured both nationally and internationally. She loves drumming, songwriting, DJing, reading, meditating, and traveling.

Marie-Rose Sheinerman was born and raised in New York City. Growing up, she spent most summers with her grandparents in the Russian Jewish neighborhood of Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, and her parents’ Soviet upbringing was a big part of her life. Currently she is taking a year off from Princeton, where she is a history major and spends as much time on course work as she does writing and editing news and features for The Daily Princetonian. In the summer of 2019, Marie-Rose traveled to Buenos Aires where she wrote for Argentina’s English-language news outlet and participated in an immersive homestay to work on her Spanish fluency. This past summer, she completed a nonprofit management internship remotely with the Correctional Association of New York, an independent prison oversight and reform organization. Marie-Rose is also a member of Princeton’s student-run Conservative prayer group, served previously on the Center for Jewish Life’s student board, and participated in the Bronfman Youth Fellowship in Israel as a high school student.

Chana Weinberg is a recent graduate of Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women where she studied English and data analytics. While at SCW, Chana served as the senior opinions editor at the YU Commentator and was a member of the NCAA basketball and softball teams. In August 2019, Chana received a scholarship to present her independent baseball analytics research at Saberseminar. Chana’s interests include following Major League Baseball, reading and spending time with family. She currently lives in Queens, New York.

Ani Wilcenski is a recent graduate of Columbia University, where she majored in creative writing and served as editor-in-chief of the school’s satirical newspaper. She previously worked as an editorial intern at Harper’s Magazine and now writes round-ups of the week’s absurd news for the magazine’s website. Before starting at Harper’s, Ani spent two years as a research intern for a documentary production company. Her interests include narrative nonfiction, investigative journalism, travel writing, and Polar Original Seltzer.

Top (l-r): Ross Anderson, Isaac De Castro, Clayton Fox, Nomi Kaltmann, Leon Kraiem. Bottom: Maggie Phillips, Karys Rhea, Marie-Rose Sheinerman, Chana Weinberg, Ani Wilcenski
Top (l-r): Ross Anderson, Isaac De Castro, Clayton Fox, Nomi Kaltmann, Leon Kraiem. Bottom: Maggie Phillips, Karys Rhea, Marie-Rose Sheinerman, Chana Weinberg, Ani Wilcenski

From the editors at Tablet Magazine