Zibby Owens, 46, author, publisher, award-winning podcaster


Zibby Owens is a literary powerhouse: The 46-year-old mom of four is an author, publisher, award-winning podcaster (“Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books”) and the CEO of Zibby Media, which has been dubbed the “Zibby-verse” as it includes a publishing house, magazine, podcast network, retreats, events, classes, a book club and, finally, Zibby’s Bookshop, an independent bookstore that brings a New York sensibility to Santa Monica, California. The Upper East Sider is also very dedicated to the Jewish community: In addition to her involvement with Temple Israel and Temple Emanu-El, she’s been a judge for the National Jewish Book Awards.  

For the full list of this year’s 36 to Watch — which honors leaders, entrepreneurs and changemakers who are making a difference in New York’s Jewish community — click here.

What’s a fun/surprising fact about you?

My step-grandfather was a rabbi and a chaplain in the Air Force. He collected miniature books and made a mini-book of two short stories of mine when I was 9. It made me want to be a writer.

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Was there a formative Jewish experience that influenced your life path?

Delivering a speech at my bat mitzvah was the first time I got up in front of a crowd and shared my thoughts and feelings. It taught me to connect through words, public speaking and the power of the podium.

Do you have a favorite inspiring quote?

Well, the phrases I live by are: Always go to parties in the rain, never turn down a glass of champagne and, quite simply, life is short.

What is your favorite place to eat Jewish food in New York?

My mom’s apartment

What is your favorite book about New York?


In one sentence, what was your best experience as a Jewish New Yorker?

My oldest son’s bris in my Upper East Side home. It was also my worst!

What are three spots in NYC that all Jewish New Yorkers should visit?

Books are Magic bookstore. William Greenberg’s bakery. Russ & Daughters.

Anything else you’d like us and our readers to know about you?

My husband Kyle converted to Judaism!

How can people follow you online?

@zibbyowens on Instagram, plus on my podcast “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books

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