Jay grew up in an unremarkable New York City suburb playing basketball, watching Steven Spielberg movies, and reading everything that Kurt Vonnegut ever wrote. As a kid, it was obvious what Jay’s two main passions were—writing and arguing. So, eventually, he would become a lawyer.
Jay went to the University of Michigan where he studied English and Political Science. After that, Jay received a law degree and Ph.D. in Political Science from New York University. He wrote his dissertation on competing theories of tolerance in American law and politics. He taught at NYU, published academic papers, and was a Bradley Fellow in American Government. Jay found the academic life a little too academic and so he committed himself to practicing law.
As an attorney, Jay worked on a wide variety of issues. He started as a Law Clerk to a United States Judge before joining his first firm. As a practicing attorney, Jay worked on civil rights, children’s issues, commercial litigation, constitutional law, criminal law, and federal death penalty cases. Towards the end of his legal career, he spent a lot of time visiting prisoners in detention centers. Jay worked many hours with individuals accused of murder and awaiting death penalty trials. In the confined spaces of these detention centers, he learned two important things—there’s a lot of humanity in people who do inhumane things and never take for granted the fact that you get to leave.
When his first daughter was born, Jay decided to leave law and start his first business, an educational learning company for children. A few years later, he sold that company to a large private equity firm. Jay had caught the entrepreneurial bug. Since founding his first company, Jay has been involved in a number of successful businesses in the digital, educational, technology, and consumer goods spaces.
Jay currently runs two companies. His company Dreamkind is an award-winning entertainment studio dedicated to developing digital content for public interest organizations, educational institutions, and governmental bodies focused on social initiatives. Jay is the creative lead for all Dreamkind projects and is an award-winning writer and creator of games, animations, apps, and web experiences. Among other awards, Jay is the winner of the Cooney Center Prize for Innovation in Literacy Learning.
Jay’s clients have included Disney, the NFL, American Heart Association, U.S. Defense Department’s Centers of Excellence, American Red Cross, Nickelodeon, UCLA Medical Center, Sesame Workshop, Carolinas HealthCare System, PBS, and many others. Jay has worked with: the NFL and American Heart Association to fight childhood obesity, UCLA Medical Center to help U.S. military families develop emotional resiliency skills, and the American Red Cross to teach emergency preparation to children.
Jay’s team at Dreamkind consists of experienced programmers, animators, producers, designers, marketers, illustrators, and educators. Dreamkind develops apps, video games, digital stories, animations, and educational content. Dreamkind has also developed a wide array of content under its own brand, including interactive science fiction narratives, arcade-style games, animated political and social satires, and educational games designed to foster literacy.
In addition to Dreamkind, Jay runs Humble Crew, a leading designer and manufacturer of furniture and storage for families. The company leverages the latest innovations in production, market accessibility, and technology to offer families well-designed furniture and storage at affordable prices. Humble Crew’s mission is to help families create loving homes. In doing so, Humble Crew partners with groups that help children living in poverty, as well as organizations that focus on the social and economic pressures on families in need.
Jay is also a writer. His first novel, Game of the Gods (Tor Books/Macmillan Publishers) was published in the summer of 2018. Jay’s novel is an action-packed adventure through a dystopian political landscape inhabited by narcissistic men. It is an epic tale of incorruptible heroes, power, political intrigue, and love of family.
Jay also writes a blog focused on politics, family life, writing, social justice, and current events. Jay is passionate about the role politics plays in shaping people’s lives and the importance of connecting individuals from disparate backgrounds.
Jay also writes about tolerance and believes that a progressive brand of tolerance—one which emphasizes empathy, compassion, and political dialogue—should be an organizing principle of any just society. In support of this idea, Jay writes about innovative charities that support his views on tolerance. He periodically writes about charities he supports and highlights their work. The goal in doing so is to increase awareness of organizations that promote progressive brands of tolerance.
Lastly, the most important thing to know about Jay is that he lives for his family. He is married to the most entertaining person he has ever met, his wife Tamar—a virtuoso of a mother who nurtures their six wickedly clever children. They live in the grossly misunderstood state of New Jersey. They enjoy the beach, hiking, cooking, sports, reading, and playing all kinds of games, both real and imagined.