Shani McManus is an award-winning journalist whose career has spanned more than 30 years, both in print and broadcast journalism, and has taken her to many regions around the country and abroad.
Currently senior staff writer with the Jewish Journal, Shani began her journalism career in 1969 as a reporter for the East Side News, a venerable Jewish newspaper on the Lower East Side of New York.
Located in the mostly Hassidic community since 1914, the paper's new addition of a young, blue-eyed blond reporter in a micro-mini skirt and white go-go boots and - oy vey! Irish-Catholic, already - raised more than a few eyebrows in the close-knit, ethnic neighborhood.
But her Bronx, "Jewish-by-osmosis" background, and fondness of knishes and chopped liver sandwiches, eventually won her neighborhood acceptance, and it wasn't too long before, "Hello, Shain-a-la," became a familiar greeting.
That acceptance offered Shani the opportunity to hone her journalistic skills, and discover that if you take the time to scratch the surface, there's a story to be found in just about every corner of the community - some heartbreaking, others inspiring, but all reflecting the human condition.
Three decades later, and once again back at another Jewish newspaper, the journey has come full circle - and Shani is still scratching. Most recently, nailing Jewish Journal interviews with 2008 presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, future vice president, Joe Biden, and presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain.