MaNishtana was born in 1982 into an African-American Orthodox Jewish family which traces its African-American Jewish roots seven generations back—two generations earlier than even he’d known when entering the blogosphere in 2009. As the blogger behind MaNishtana’s Musings, he works to nurture unity and strengthen multifaceted identity within the Jew of Color community, and invites all to participate in this niche social media site’s conversations. As the founder of JOCFlock.org, an online dating site for Jews of Color, MaNishtana helps Jews of Color find their beshert.
His unique, humorous, and often irreverent outlook on Judaism, race politics, and racial issues within Judaism and without—illustrated through his blogs and videos—have gained popularity through mentions by The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Jerusalem Report, Kehila Magazine, Moment Magazine, Jewcy.com, and Loop 21, as well as earning him nominations for Jewish Hero of the Year 2010 & 2011 and being named one of The Jewish Week’s “36 Under 36″ for 2014. His speaking engagements have included campus Hillels, A Taste of Limmud NY, Birthright Israel NEXT, and the Eliezer Society at Yale.
A social activist more by chance than choice, his life’s true passions include a constant quest for the best rum or scotch, 1940’s films, and winning arguments through proliferous use of sarcasm. He currently lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Shoshana, and in 2013 he released his “not-autobiography”, Thoughts From A Unicorn: 100% Black. 100% Jewish. 0% Safe, available at Amazon.com as well as digitally for Kindle or Nook.
For more information about Thoughts From A Unicorn, please visit https://www.facebook.com/thoughtsfromaunicorn or contact MaNishtana at firstname.lastname@example.org. For media inquiries or speaking opportunities please contact Shoshana Rishon at email@example.com.
The New York Times, “Being Black Jews Without Dividing Loyalties”, August 2010
Loop 21, “Not All African Americans Need Christianity For Spiritual Fulfillment”, March 2011
The Jerusalem Report, “Jewish Like Me”, April 2011
Moment, “Schvartzer: It’s Not Black and White”, May 2011
Kehila Magazine, “Thoughts From A Unicorn: An Interview with MaNishtana”, September 2012
New York Magazine, “The Black Orthodox”, December 2012
D la Repubblica, “Ortodossi Neri”, May 2013
Person, Place, Thing: Randy Cohen with Shais Rison, (Radio Interview) May 2013
Tachles, “100 Prozent Schwarz und Jude–MaNishtana”, February 2014
The Jewish Week, “Proud to be Jewish and Black: MaNishtana”, (36 Under 36, 2014), June 2014