Super Jewess: Alma Editor Molly Tolsky
Alma is the new home for female Jewish millennials. It’s filled with fun pop culture articles, essays on bat mitzvahs, reviews of every new episode of “Broad City,” and relatable stories about JSwiping, throwing parties, and going to college.
Molly Tolsky, a writer, editor, and millennial herself, runs Alma. The 31-year-old Brooklynite was the editor of Kveller, the Jewish women’s and parenting website, from 2015 until this past June, when she launched her new venture.
Some articles on Alma right now include a listicle about Alison Brie’s awesome year, a post on how to avoid going stir crazy while working at home, and a quiz to determine which ugly Hanukkah sweater you should own.
“I really loved what I was doing for Kveller, working with writers and forming this online community, but I’m not a parent myself,” said Tolsky. “I wanted to do something I could personally relate to. That’s where the idea for Alma came from.”
Alma, a Hebrew word that means a woman of childbearing age who does not have kids, is for post-college women. “It’s a space for your independent woman, who is no longer living with her parents but doesn’t feel like an adult yet,” said Tolsky. “She’s still figuring her career and relationships. There is a specific group of women that could use the space to talk.”
Tolsky grew up in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, in a culturally Jewish family. She went to a conservative synagogue for the High Holidays and had a bat mitzvah, and nowadays, she identifies still as a cultural, but secular, Jew.
However, because of her work on two Jewish websites, Tolsky said she is reflecting more on her practice. She’ll sometimes go to services in Manhattan and do Shabbat dinner with friends. “Since working on Kveller for so many years and now Alma, it’s made me think about my own religious beliefs and practices more than I would have otherwise,” she said. “I’ve realized more that it is an important part of my life.”
In addition to running Alma, she is also the senior editor of No Tokens, a literary journal she helped start while working towards her MFA at Sarah Lawrence College. It’s completely run by women, and it showcases fiction, essays, poems, and art.
Tolsky is working on a collection of short stories when she has a little bit of free time. She also binge watches TV (“Broad City” no doubt) and, a couple of months ago, she baked her first challah.
Beyond continuing her own writing career and venturing out into more baked goods (she is trying to make a babka next), Tolsky is looking to grow Alma into an engaged community.
“When I was doing my research before we launched, Jewish women in this age group all talked about how they really like connecting with other Jewish women,” she said. “More and more people are able to find those connections online. I hope to continue to have a space that allows Jewish women to talk about what’s on their minds and connect with others.”
*Image of Molly Tolsky taken by Marissa Roer