Ben is a familiar face for many of us in the Jewish community. If you haven’t had the opportunity to meet him you can run into him at any number of Jewish events around DC! Gather first interviewed him in 2012 but we wanted to check back in with him to see what he has been up too. Read his updates and his original article below!
Ben, what have you been up to since your original interview?
- I’ve been a teacher at the Religious School with Adas Israel. One of the classes I enjoy teaching is on “Pop Culture and Judaism”, where we discuss topics in movies and TV shows and look at how they parallel Jewish values in our world today.
- I worked in online advertising and marketing in the tech and software community. This year, I’m having a blast working in the Preschool with Adas Israel.
- I traveled to Israel a good amount. I staffed three Birthright trips, including a DC community trip. Last year, I participated in the Birthright Alumni trip with Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.
- I was a ConnectGens Fellow in partnership with PresenTense where my initiative was bringing together Holocaust Survivors in our community with Hebrew School students.
New Question: Why do you deserve to be Jewish Guy of the Year?
We have one of the greatest cities in the world for young Jewish professionals. I’m that guy who’s always trying to connect people in the Jewish community and helping others out. There’s so much out there in this town and lots of great people to meet and network with and I’m always encouraging others to get involved because… I mean why not? I’m genuinely a good guy and a mensch.
That’s why I’m your Jewish Guy of the Year.
You have a cool mix of jobs. Tell us about it.
I’m substitute teaching at the DC JCC preschool and the Jewish Primary Day School. I’m also teaching a 3rd-grade class at the Adas Israel Hebrew school. I’m interning in the area of marketing for IsraelStrategist.com. It’s a one-stop shop for readers who want to become more informed on Israel’s economy, and it helps readers identify investment opportunities in Israel. In addition, I lead tours of restaurants in Georgetown on weekends through a tour operator geared towards foodies.
Did you say restaurant tours? You’re going to have to explain this.
I really enjoyed taking people around my campus as a tour guide when I was studying at Florida Atlantic University. Recently, I learned that I can do something similar on weekends here in Washington, but instead of showing prospective students the ins and outs of a college campus, I get to show off the restaurant highlights across neighborhoods of DC. This spring, I’ll be working with DC Metro Food Tours showing visitors and locals around Georgetown, speaking about its history and stopping into a few local restaurants along the way to nosh on some of their featured dishes. It’s a fun birthday present or great afternoon activity to do with friends or family visiting from out of town.
You attended a summer institute in California. What was this experience like?
I participated in a program in Los Angeles called Brandeis Collegiate Institute (BCI). It allows you to really immerse yourself in exploring your Jewish identity through various ways including learning about the arts, studying Jewish texts, and forming a community with young Jewish adults from all over the world. It definitely was one of the most meaningful and uplifting experiences I have ever had. You can find out more about BCI here http://bci.ajula.edu/
You’re from Florida. What brought you to D.C.?
Ever since my sister became a student at GW, I’ve had an interest in the DC community. After a summer internship at the Hillel International Center and a semester internship on Capitol Hill, I saw that DC had so much to offer Jewish young professionals, career-wise and socially.
To learn more about Ben, email firstname.lastname@example.org.