Danielle Brody, 29, remaking Judaism one ‘doodle’ at a time

Danielle Brody, content producer at Business Insider and creator of the cartoon platform Jews in Doodles, was selected as one of the New York Jewish Week’s 36 to Watch (formerly 36 Under 36). This distinction honors leaders, entrepreneurs and changemakers who are making a difference in New York’s Jewish community. She produces books, greeting cards and t-shirts. Brody lives on the Upper East Side.

For the full list of this year’s “36ers,” click here.

New York Jewish Week: Tell us a bit about your career as an artist.

Brody: I independently started a new Jewish media platform called Jews in Doodles that includes books, cartoons, events, videos and awards. I illustrated, wrote and self-published “Don’t FuHaggadahboudit” (published in 2021 and updated in 2022) — a hilarious and simple haggadah with cartoons and jokes based in NYC instead of Egypt. It received rave reviews from customers across the world (from California to Prague!) and was featured on the Forward, JTA and News12.

How does your Jewish identity or experience shape your work?

Growing up, being Jewish was very important to my family and continues to be a huge part of my life. I’ve always been involved in the Jewish community — as a kid through Hebrew school, volunteer work and community groups; in college at Hillel and working at the farm sleepaway camp Eden Village; and now as a professional going to Jewish events, hosting Shabbats in my home and creating Jewish content. 

I attended Conservative, Reform and Chabad Hebrew school. I’ve seen many different ways to approach Judaism and that has probably all played a role in influencing my work and perspective.

Still, I never thought I’d end up in a Jewish line of business. But when I started drawing cartoons about myself in 2020, I naturally wanted to express my Jewish experience. My goal continues to be creating content that is inclusive and makes Jews feel seen, no matter their backgrounds. I also want to uphold traditions while modernizing them to make them more relatable and understandable. 

When my family had to host our own small Passover seder in 2020, we couldn’t find our favorite haggadah (a printout from my sister’s nursery school from 2001), and the ones we found were too complicated. That led me to create my own the next year.

When it comes to the holidays, I made sure my books retell the story for people of all Jewish knowledge levels so they can confidently take it into their own hands. I also hope my content makes people feel excited about Judaism and helps them enjoy the culture and holidays even more. 

In one sentence, what was your best experience as a Jewish New Yorker?

Delivering my haggadahs to rapper Kosha Dillz in Brooklyn, then joining his seder and rapping with him in his backyard.

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