Stefanie Pervos Bregman, a 2002 graduate, says that not only is Buffalo Grove her home, but so was the journalism office at SHS where she worked tirelessly on The Statesman, Stevenson’s newspaper.
Obviously that time was well spent, as she went on to earn a degree in journalism and mass communications and then a master's in Jewish professional studies. Stefanie has put all her degrees to good use. She is not only the manager of digital communications at the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation (JUF) of Metropolitan Chicago and the associate editor for the JUF News, but also the co-founding editor and blogger-in-chief of Oy!Chicago.
Besides her new puppy, Bialy, OyChicago is her other baby, as she conceived the idea from what she calls a "spark." She says, “The idea for Oy!Chicago started as spark in my mind, a thought that we were missing an opportunity to connect with Jewish 20- and 30-somethings where they are — online. I brought the idea for a blog targeted to this demographic to my colleagues, and with the help of writers and communications staff at JUF, we launched the site in April of 2008.”
The site is quite unique as it’s really the first blog targeted specifically for Jewish young adults who live in the Chicago area.
“We like to say that Oy! is for the socially conscious, intellectually curious, and community-minded, living Jewishly — or Jew-ishly — in Chicago,” Stefanie said. She said to date they have more than 30 volunteer bloggers who include cantors, bartenders and new moms. Stefanie said that without the support of the bloggers who offer new perspectives, interesting content and meaningful subject matter, she’s not sure what the site would be today. Together, they’ve created the whole. Currently Oy! gets more than 6,000 visits per month.
Someone once told Stefanie that through Oy! we are becoming the storytellers of our generation. Again, she took that thought (another spark) and ran with it, as she decided to write a book that is coming out in August called, Living Jewishly: A Snapshot of a Generation. It’s an anthology of more than 40 essays from Jewish 20- and 30-somethings from across the country.
As if she’s not busy enough, Stefanie has been doing freelance work to help out a relatively new website started by Chicago siblings, Brad and Danielle Weisberg, and their good friend and programmer, Matt Pulley. The site, TheJMom.com, is a new type of dating service where yes, you got it; the moms do the matching! So far, there has been good success with more than 2,500 moms, relatives or close friends doing the matchmaking. Let’s face it; they probably have more time to devote to the profile, the process and the ability to be painfully honest when meeting other moms to discuss their kids!
Please email me if you know someone who should be in the spotlight. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.