About Us

GrokNation is an online community for people of all ages and backgrounds to dive deep into conversations on contemporary issues. Founded by actress-neuroscientist-mom Mayim Bialik, GrokNation presents issues in an accessible, relatable and unapologetically nerdy way. From the social impact of pop culture to the value of human connection, from causes and ideas that make a difference to the challenges of raising the next generation of activists, GrokNation aims to activate readers into engagement in online conversations that lead to offline action, mobilizing individuals toward changing the world as a community. For more about this site, read this letter from site founder Mayim Bialik.

 

Mayim Bialik, Grokker-in-Chief (Site Founder)

Esther D. Kustanowitz, Grokker of Verbiage (Editorial Director)

Melissa Gruenfeld, Grokker of Operations (GrokNation Director of Operations)

Immanuel Shalev, Brand Grokker (Inspirational Consultant)

Mayim Bialik, Grokker-in-Chief (Site Founder)

Nicknames: Mai Tai, Water, My-My, Nerd, Baby

Superpowers: Lightning-fast typing, making boo-boos all better, multi-tasking, switching emotions on a dime, gleeking on command.

Trying to Grok: Existence, commitment, soy, grief.

Mayim Hoya Bialik founded GrokNation.com as an online space for deep and dynamic conversation on today’s issues. She is a four-time Emmy-Award nominee for her role as Amy Farrah Fowler on the #1 comedy in America, “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS), has a PhD in neuroscience and is the mother of two boys.

She is also known for playing the young Bette Midler in “Beaches” when she was 12, as well as for her lead role in the early-1990s NBC television sitcom “Blossom.” She has had guest roles on some of television’s most beloved shows of the 1980s and 1990s, such as “MacGyver,” “Webster,” “Facts of Life,” and “Murphy Brown.” She has appeared in Woody Allen’s “Don’t Drink the Water,” HBO’s “Fat Actress,” “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” and in several episodes of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” In 2014, Mayim joined Peter Funt in the TVLand relaunch of the original hidden camera reality show, “Candid Camera.”

She is the author of two books: Beyond the Sling (March 2012, Simon and Schuster) and Mayim’s Vegan Table (February 2014, Da Capo Press). Bialik was born in San Diego, California to first-generation Jewish American parents, documentary filmmakers and teachers. Mayim earned a BS from UCLA in 2000 in Neuroscience and Hebrew & Jewish Studies, and went on to the PhD program in Neuroscience, also at UCLA. In fall 2007, she completed her doctorate, which examined the role of oxytocin and vasopressin in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in adolescents with Prader-Willi syndrome.

Mayim contributes to the Jewish parenting site Kveller.com and is proud to be a honest and unfiltered voice for religious observance, liberal politics, maintaining modesty in Hollywood and just being a really normal imperfect mom trying to make everything run smoothly in a world out of her control.

Esther D. Kustanowitz, Grokker of Verbiage (Editorial Director)

Nicknames: EstherK, Estherika, E to the K, EKay, E-Star

Superpowers: Portmanteaux and neologisms, puns, finding typos, making things Jewy, yes-anding, knowing the names of obscure Star Wars characters (original trilogy), awkward celebrity impressions.

Trying to Grok: Schadenfreude, love and relationships, life after loss, people who use ROTFL and LMAO to an alarming degree, emojis.

Esther D. Kustanowitz (@estherk) is a writer, editor and consultant usually based in Los Angeles, occasionally in New York or Jerusalem and always on the internet. She has written for Modern Loss, Haaretz, JTA, The Jewish Week, The Forward and eJewishPhilanthropy, and is a contributing writer at The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. She has been blogging at MyUrbanKvetch.com since 2004, and advises individuals and nonprofit organizations on the culture and effective use of social media. Esther is also writing a book, Nothing Helps (But This Might Help): Loss and What Comes After, a collection of observations and wisdom about life after loss; but prizes the role of comedy in balancing out life’s harder moments. Her professional site is EstherK.com, but she doesn’t update it as much as she should. A good portion of her brain is devoted to Star Wars.

Melissa Gruenfeld, Grokker of Operations (GrokNation Director of Operations)

Nicknames: Meliss, MG, M-Dawg, Miss Meliss

Superpowers: Jack of all trades– master of some, Zumba, being a giant.

Trying to Grok: love and relationships, LA vs. NY, life

Melissa Gruenfeld is a well-rounded professional with a variety of interests and work experience spanning from interior design, home products development, social media marketing & management, to even dance and event entertainment! A a self-starter from NY, she continues to spread her wings and enjoys her creative and entrepreneurial lifestyle. At 5’10”, she stands tall and proud as an integral part of GrokNation team! She keeps an eye on everything to make sure all things GrokNation-related run smoothly on the site and behind the scenes. It’s good to know we have someone around who can reach the high shelves.

Immanuel “Imu” Shalev, Brand Grokker (Inspirational Consultant)

Nicknames: Imu, Mu, Momo

Superpowers: Singing really low, telepathic communication with YouTube, sometimes I write good

Trying to Grok: Communication, relationships, God, disciplined creativity

Imu Shalev is the Chief Operating Officer of Aleph Beta Academy. Prior to that, he was the director of Jewish a cappella group The Maccabeats. Imu graduated from Fordham Law School but decided to tap into his creative side and pursue his passions. He is a proud nerd, and thinks that The Fault In Our Stars by John Green is a life-changing book.