Ben: I moved to DC back in 2007, after working on a political campaign for Kirsten Gillibrand (now-Jr. Senator from NY.)
Jackie: How did you get involved in Federation?
Ben: I grew up in Pensacola, FL (yes, there are Jews in the Florida Panhandle) in a family that was always involved in the community. After a few years here in DC, I decided to get involved myself and applied for the Jewish Federation’s Birthright Alumni Mission.
Jackie: What are you most excited for with IMPACT DC this year?
Ben: Anyone who knows me knows, I am the first person on the dance floor, and the last to leave. I can’t wait to celebrate with hundreds of young Jews from across the area and really make a difference in the lives of so many in our community, in Israel, and around the world.
Jackie: Where is your favorite place to spend time in the city?
Ben: Most Thursday nights you will find me at Stead Park in Dupont Circle playing with the Matzo Balls as part of the Stonewall LGBT Kickball League! What we may lack in athletic prowess we make up for in ruach (spirit)!!
Jackie: How do you take your bagel?
Ben: Whole Wheat everything, double toasted, veggie cream cheese, tomato slices, and capers.
Ben: In addition to my work with Federation, I also run DC’s only young, gay Jewish organization, Nice Jewish Boys DC. We host Shabbat-luck dinners a few times a year at member’s homes. You haven’t experienced a Shabbat till you have one with a rainbow challah!
Finish the sentence: When the Jews gather…we make an impact! Whether you are talking about the civil rights movements of the 60’s, the LGBT rights movement of today, or a host of other causes, the Jewish community has always been on the forefront of social justice. The Chosen People are an elite club that can do a lot even though there aren’t many of us. We accomplish that when we gather.