JGirls Magazine is an online community and magazine written by and for self-identifying Jewish girls ages 13-19 across the denominational spectrum. jGirls contributors and users explore their concerns and cultivate their abilities to express themselves publicly and articulately through the various media they contribute to the site, including journalism, fiction, poetry, humor, music, photography, videos/ vlogs and artwork, as well as through discussion around this content. In this way, jGirls users strengthen their leadership skills, self-esteem, sense of identity and engagement and status in the Jewish community. In providing this forum for expression and exploration, jGirls contributes to long-term social change in the Jewish community by building a pipeline to a future cohort of bold, committed Jewish female leaders. We actively encourage participants who are diverse in their Jewish identification, sexual orientation, gender expression, race, ethnicity and abilities.
Mandel is an accomplished documentary filmmaker, published writer, editor, and community activist. She has built a successful record of using media to raise awareness and create change around social justice, gender and Jewish community issues. Mandel's award-winning films include “Pushing the Elephant” (director, 2010) and “Arctic Son” (producer, 2006). She also directs videos for non-profit organizations such as Jewish Women International. Her films have broadcast on PBS’ Independent Lens and POV, and screened at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival and numerous other festivals, as well as on Capitol Hill, at the World Bank, in schools and at refugee camps throughout the world. Mandel has been awarded a Jerome Foundation Fellowship and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship for her film work.
Mandel worked for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee in Mumbai, India, and for the United Nations and the Asia Foundation. She has also worked in Japan and in Cambodia and Nepal on a variety of women’s security and empowerment projects. She is a frequent contributor to “Lilith Magazine,” and has served as an editor at USAID and for the Group on Equal Rights for Women at the United Nations. She is a founding member and trustee of The Harlem Minyan and sits on the board of Yaldaynu Preschool, where she initiated the school’s maternity leave policy. Mandel holds a Master’s Degree from Columbia University in International Affairs, with a focus on Women’s Economic and Political Development. She graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia University with a B.A. in Religion and East Asian Languages and Cultures. She lives in New York with her husband and three daughters.