Feb 10, 2019
MicDrop Holds First NY Event

12 female entrepreneurs addressed the first public MicDrop event in New York City; founders are communicating with rabbis on format.

By COLlive reporter

MicDrop hosted their first open-to-the-public event in New York City with two evenings of public speaking performances at the Alvin Ailey CitiGroup Theater on Thursday and Saturday evening.

Billed as "Wonder Woman - Series of Stories from the Superheroine Next Door," the audience at the sold-out events heard inspirational speeches from 12 female entrepreneurs.

Rosh Lowe, former TV news reporter and the co-founder of MicDrop, introduced the event by telling the crowd the mission of the organization.

"We are here to make people feel connected. Stories are a great equalizer. They allow us to see how alike we all are," said Lowe. "There is also great power in the personal narrative. Part of the MicDrop Method is to reframe pain into a vehicle for inspiration."

The lineup consisted of Adina Miles, known on social media as Flatbush Girl, who spoke about the importance of authentic communication.

Video: Adina Miles


Mica Soffer, publisher and editor of community news service COLlive.com, took the audience on a journey from being bullied as a child in Crown Heights to leading one of the largest Jewish news websites in the world, as "a mother and a proud chassidic woman."

Video: Mica Soffer


Chava Witkes told her story of growing up in poverty and never viewing herself as a victim. "We write our own story," she proudly announced to the audience.

Video: Chava Witkes


Chani Lisbon, a well known comic, let the audience in on parts of her journey she hadn't previously shared in this way. Her battle with alcoholism and subsequent recovery, her loss of hair on 2 separate occasions and the path she's taken to let go of seeking validation in other's approval.

Chana Wasserman allowed the audience into some of her most innermost fears and her decision, right then and there, to write a more empowering narrative for herself. She ended her speech proclaiming, "I am a Wonder Woman," to a standing ovation.

Video: Chana Wasserman


Katy Horowitz, an educator from Florida, spoke about her child who was kicked out of school and the need to reform the educational system, to one where all children are taken care of.

On Saturday evening, Toby Richler spoke about the significance of self care when it comes to mental health. Living as a martyr has always been second nature for her but when she stopped recognizing herself, she committed to a better life. For her, it started with reaching out for help. She encouraged the audience to do just that. Immediately after her speech, one woman said, "I signed up for therapy because of Toby's talk."

Itta Werdiger Roth told her story of growing up with privilege and wealth and the burden it placed on her to search for and find her own value. "I hope any teenager who is struggling can hear my speech and realize they are not alone," she said.

Chaya Chanin, co-founder of The Frock NYC, took the stage days before her impending due date with a very important message for the audience. Acceptance of where we are at is paramount to getting the most out of life. Whether it's accepting our weight, our jealousy, our disappointment, or that we had a difficult day, we shouldn't minimize our feelings or frustrations. "It is a big deal," Chaya said.

Simi Polonsky, Chaya's business partner and sister, who tragically lost her husband Shua Polonsky OBM to a virus, culminated the evening with her own public commitment to choose "Life after Death."

Video: Simi Polonsky


Lowe ended the evening with all the women on stage, "These are Wonder women," he said, "who have inspired us all."

COMMUNICATING WITH RABBONIM

Eli Nash, a businessman who is the co-founder of MicDrop, reported that he has been communicating with Rabbi Avrohom Osdoba and Rabbi Shlomo Segal who wrote a public letter against MicDrop last week.

"The Rabbonim have been extremely receptive to us as we work to better understand their position," Nash told COLlive.com. "They have been pleased to learn that we are extremely sensitive to the potential for Lashon Hara and are willing to work to even be more sensitive."

Nash made it clear that "MicDrop is not about shaming anyone or unburdening ourself at the expense of others. We value the Rabbonim's input and look forward to another letter from the Rabbonim after having had the opportunity to learn more about MicDrop."

He added that "several respected community rabbis and leaders have taken a deeper look at MicDrop and have extremely high regard for the work we are doing. We see absolutely no reason that the Rabbonim themselves won't be comfortable too."

"I have been blessed with a gift which I love to share with others," said Lowe. "I know first hand many people who have been helped by MicDrop. Not only the speakers but the audience too. Sruli Richler has received several invitations to continue to speak about his struggle with OCD because of how many have been helped by his message. These messages, and others like his, are so important to be shared with the world," he said.


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Opinions and Comments
1
Wonderwomen
I thought I was a wonder woman. I'm not an entrepreneur, I'm a mother of a mega family Bh, and grandmother to bh many. Are only career women heroines?
(2/10/2019 9:39:24 PM)
2
Not a fan of Mic Drop but now I get it
After hearing many of the speeches over the past months personally it was too negative for me. I didn't see the growth or the point as a viewer. But after hearing Chava Witkes speak her positive attitude blew my mind!

First time I was ever truly inspired by Mic Drop, she took life challenges which every single human being in the world has and chose to make the best of her situation.
(2/10/2019 9:43:08 PM)
3
Wow
Keep speaking ,warriors!
(2/10/2019 9:54:08 PM)
4
Wow
No words. Simply wow! I hope they continue this!
(2/10/2019 10:14:56 PM)
5
Comment 2
Comment 2- well said. I feel the same way. Was very impressed and moved by her positivity!
(2/10/2019 10:20:22 PM)
6
Chava witkes
Chava u definitely rocked the show
Ur story was so raw, inspiring and touching
It was nice to hear some positivity:)
U are an incredible woman and thank u for sharing ur story!
(2/10/2019 10:22:52 PM)
7
this was fabulous
mica soffer, you are an inspiration.thank you for running this website and being the voice for so many. standing up for the voices of women is a powerful thing, and we are so grateful to you.
(2/10/2019 10:43:38 PM)
8
Mic drop is amazing
There’s a real need for authenticity
(2/10/2019 11:01:15 PM)
9
Simi
You touched me so deeply. Thank you for sharing such raw emotion. I had a real cry.
(2/10/2019 11:02:04 PM)
10
Amazing Chava Witkes
And so raw Simi Polonsky
May Hashem return Shua to you very soon
(2/10/2019 11:04:37 PM)
11
Gestetner Superstars
Making New York great again.
Thank you for joining us, and for being with us in your trueness.
(2/11/2019 12:02:58 AM)
12
Mendy
How can we see the rest of the speakers?
(2/11/2019 12:07:52 AM)
13
Dearest Simi
Dearest Simi,

Sitting here listening to you speak about defining life as things stand now, I'm unabashedly bawling my eyes out.

You are so right about being so broken and so whole.

While my loss was different (I was 9 when my mother passed away) your courage and resilience within the pain speaks to me some 25 years later.

Chazak!


(2/11/2019 4:02:23 AM)
14
#1 you are the ultimate Wonder Woman!!!
All your efforts, strengths and sacrifices may not be seen or known, but they are seen and known by Hashem. The One who's opinion counts the most! You merit to have a beautiful family that is evident is no easy feat!

I gave up a career in the limelight in order to stay home when my kids are young. The sacrifice is hard for me, being a stay at home mom is much harder than any 12 hour day that I had as a director of a non profit organization.

I knew how smart and capable I was, if that was the case why would I regulate other random people to take care of my kids Iand not give them the best resources, me!

As my kids are older they are appreaciative of the sacrifice of staying home, they know and understand now that I was always there for them. As my youngest gets a little older I will get ready to go back to my career again.

You can have it all, just not always at the same time!
(2/11/2019 7:39:50 AM)
15
Dear people reading.....
What needs to come out of all this is one thing and one thing only. CHESED kindness kindness for all no matter who. AHAVAS YISROEL needs to take place. Instead of stupid reactions and policies whether this is socially or religiously excepted. We need to increase Ahavas Yisroel and stop the adult and childhood bullying .This will stop the terrible tragedies and bring moshiach finally.
(2/11/2019 8:18:11 AM)
16
Am i missing something?
What s wrong with me that I don't feel the need to share my problems with the world? That im fine just speaking to a good friend... What s wrong with me that I don't feel the need to get attention in front of a bunch of men? What s wrong with me that I'm more than happy to take care of my children and be there for my husband, and that itself makes me so empowered and fulfilled? WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME?
(2/11/2019 9:35:58 AM)
17
To #16
Nothing is wrong with you, but nothing is wrong with them either.
(2/11/2019 10:10:14 AM)
18
to #16
If someone only has problems to share then I agree maybe it's better to just talk to a friend or a therapist. But if someone can share their story and struggles and leave the audience with an inspiring or empowering message, then shouldn't many people be able to benefit from that?
(2/11/2019 10:18:50 AM)
19
to #16
why would something be wrong with you? perhaps consider yourself fortunate. Simi doesnt have a husband to speak to. count your blessings and live life with gratitude.
(2/11/2019 10:35:45 AM)
20
To 16
Who said something is wrong with either of you?
You are happy in your role and so are they. everyone in this world has a different Shlichus, and each deserves respect and recognition for their contributions to their family and society.
This whole us vs them mentality is so warped and wrong. Why can't people do as they wish and what makes them fulfilled and accomplished without being judged by the other?
(2/11/2019 10:44:22 AM)
21
To #16
Welcome to the rest of the club. You are fine. BH you either didn't have major challenges, or learned how to deal with them in a different way like most of society.
(2/11/2019 12:42:02 PM)
22
Dear #16
The question "What is wrong with me"? is part of your discovery that you are perfect, and awesome, and there is more about life, people, love, yourself, your husband, your children, attention, fulfillment, empowerment, and friendship to discover that will ultimately come from your experiences, and your experiencing what others share with you.

Something to consider. Your comment reveals such an awesome reflection of where you are in regards to what more you have to discover. You are blessed. You will discover great things - and they will be be revealed with the courage, kindness, authenticity and willingness of yourself, and those you choose to share life with.

May you be challenged to work through the struggles it will take to help guide you to become the person you wish to become in this lifetime. One day it's all over, and we pass the knowledge and wisdom we've accumulated to those that continue their opportunistic lives. Get spent with the best of you, and the you that pursues the you you strive to be.

Moysh
(2/11/2019 2:13:51 PM)
23
Chava witkes
Her speech was amazing. Thank you to our community members that run gmachs and things like this, that are helping people survive tough circumstances. A reminder that children are struggling right under our noses. Your siblings are/were lucky to have you. Thank you for sharing.
(2/11/2019 3:11:29 PM)
24
chassidic women
Although its true that men and women alike can sometimes question who is the boss, it is not true that they are shocked to hear a women is in charge. In my business I see customers trying to speak to my partner to get a better price, because they think I am to tough, not because I am a women. I don't think its fair to make it sound like chassdic women are suppressed.
(2/11/2019 3:22:35 PM)
25
It"s very positive
I feel that this event should have taken place long ago. People need to care about others not just about themselves. We as Jews should build each other up. By sharing your stories you are helping so many others. Like it's ok to be normal and have feelings. I still don't think men should attend. It's not tznius for men to hear personal stories from these women in this setting. Maybe put up a mechitza. I hope they work with the Rabbonim like they said it would be nice for a change. Just everyone do the right thing always ask a Rov.
(2/11/2019 4:19:23 PM)
26
Strong
These women are great roll models for all to learn how to be strong people and not let whatever negativitve situation one finds themselves that defines us but rather to be strong and use our experience to get through them, to overcome them and become strong.
Whomever said this was a bad idea is crazy.
G-d bless you all.
(2/11/2019 5:32:21 PM)
27
Come on now
Just because someone chooses to stay home etc doesnt mean anyone is belittling you.why are some of you so defensive.Others choose a different path of fulfillment so it's not a me vs them issue. These women have remarkable stories to share and they are very inspiring to me. If you are very private, well good for you and dont listen to them.If you find it to negative well good for you that your lives have never been touched by such histories. BH. Some of us are very much intrigued by the resilience and messages of these women. We want to hear their stories and how they made their lives more meaningful for them. GOOD enough for me.Loved it.
(2/11/2019 10:47:58 PM)
28
Chava Witkes and SImi Polansky
Chava and SImi shook me up, and left a very strong impression
SImi, your inner strength is an inspiration. I'm so sorry for all your pain, may you see brighter days ahead with your lovely children.
Chava, I'm so sorry you had to suffer like that. There's no reason a girl your age .... I feel really bad this happened right here in Beis Rivkah and people were oblivious, It truly truly pains me.
Can we make a generous fund? any sponsors? perhaps call it the 'Chava W Fund' for out of towners and they can get anything they need including food!!! please crown heightsers wake up!. This happened under our noses! Shanda on us
(2/11/2019 10:55:46 PM)
29
Will the mixed seating be fixed?
Just wondering... And maybe Tznius too? Otherwise fantastic talks! Cried, laughed and learned, just hope for it to be a bit more frum-focused presentation...
(2/12/2019 1:13:51 AM)
30
#16
What is wrong with you....is that you dont realized how key"h you are blessed!!!!
You even have a friend to talk to about what bothers you....remember how Miles did not find one when she needed her or even could share what hurt???
So if you cant reach out , or open your home to those lonely people and let them soak a bit of your normality and sweetness once in a while, them that would be wrong...
(2/12/2019 2:57:35 AM)
31
Moshiach Today- Our Choice??
Thanks #28 for your suggestion for a Chava W. Fund. I would like to see this promoted as a tax deductible fund that is widely advertised on COLLIVE and other frum sites. We can choose to close our eyes and ignore the plight of fellow Jews with the poverty of Chaya's family and delay the coming of Moshiach or choose to bring MOSHIACH TODAY.
(2/12/2019 10:17:49 AM)
32
Wow
Mrs Witkes story was, unbelievable!! You are amazing!!
(2/12/2019 4:15:03 PM)
33
Takes guts
Absolutely love these brave woman! It takes guts to get up there and share your struggles. All the honor!

Its easy to hide away our stories or stuff them under a rug. We all have our struggles and painful moments.

For those of us who don't have the guts to get up there, watching these woman speak empowers me to see myself and others in a different light, and hopefully be brave enough to become vulnerable and humble.
(2/17/2019 4:42:34 PM)
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