Danya Shults is a Yavneh alum and the brains behind Arq – a media company, lifestyle brand and community platform for anyone – Jewish and not – to connect with all things Jewish in a more contemporary way.
Danya grew up in New Haven, CT and went to Jewish day school. She attended Yavneh because her best friend Shula (Ponet) Ehrlich went to Yavneh and she did everything that Shula did. They are still close friends and Shula’s dad even officiated at her wedding! Danya attended the second session at camp until Leviim and then went to camp for the entire summer. She was also a camp counselor for two summers. Independent and social, Danya loved camp for a million reasons – it was a huge part of her life. She made close friends and spent the summer in a beautiful place with great people. And camp rituals are things that she still talks about.
After camp, Danya went to Washington University for college and it was the first time that she had the chance to do my her own thing Jewishly. It was also the first time she realized that things she was attracted to were distinct from the Jewish things that existed. For example, Danya had to choose between going to Shabbat dinner or seeing music on Friday evening. Danya began hosting Shabbat dinners at her apartment and went home for the Jewish holidays.
After college Danya moved to New York and worked for Teach For America – loved it – and then transitioned into the startup world. Danya felt at home in her new industry and learned to build something from nothing – a skill that later her helped her launch her own businesses – Pop-Up Shabbat and The Ish – precursors to Arq. Pop-Up Shabbat was a one night only, every two months, Shabbat meal located in a warehouse space deep in Brooklyn. And The Ish was a semi-regular newsletter that highlighted the best of the internet from around the world in a contemporary Jewish lens. All of her professional experience culminated into launching Arq in December of last year. And because of Arq, Danya has never felt more integrated in her entire life. She is creating something around a core value that is so a part of her and it is speaking directly to her strengths and aesthetics. To learn more about Danya and Arq, visit www.thisisarq.com
UPDATE: This just in. Danya Shults was listed in The New York Jewish Week’s “36 Under 36.” Check it out here.