This week I had the opportunity to interview David. Many of you may recognize him from his time as a resident at Moishe House Bethesda. In our interview, I learned about his favorite mitzvah, how he stays connected to the Jewish community even after leaving Moishe House and one thing he can’t get through his day without! Learn more about the Jewish Do-Gooder of the Week in our interview below.
Jackie: What is your favorite mitzvah?
David: Hands down — donating blood. If you are able to donate it doesn’t require risk or wealth or anything more than being relatively healthy and having a little bit of time… and it saves lives.
Jackie: Is there a reason giving blood is so important to you?
David: I started donating blood in college. The blood drives were right at the student center – so it was pretty convenient to donate – and it seemed like a worthwhile thing to do. I didn’t know anyone who had ever needed a blood transfusion, but my aunt received a kidney transplant (from her husband) in 1996 and a pancreas (sadly, from someone who died suddenly) in 1997. I’ve been an organ donor since I got my learner’s permit, and I joined the Bone Marrow Registry in 2011.
Jackie: You are originally from this area. What made you want to return?
David: To be honest, I never really planned to return; it just sort of happened. It was basically supposed to be a short stay while I figured out my next adventure. Somehow, it became part of my journey.
Jackie: How did you become a Moishe House resident?
David: I had been a community member at the Moishe House in Hoboken, NJ, so when I came back to the DC area, I attended a Shabbat dinner at the Montgomery County Moishe House. (That’s what it was called before we moved to Bethesda.) The residents told me that night that someone was moving out and that there would soon be an opening. I wasn’t sure about the timing because I was applying for jobs in different parts of the country, but the residents and the organization took a chance on me, and I ended up staying for a while.
Jackie: What is one of your favorite memories?
David: Being a Moishe House resident for over three years left me with a lot of memories. I’ve had the good fortune of meeting and bonding with some awesome people while attending national conferences and learning retreats all over the country, but one memory that stands out is from an event here in DC. One of the extremely generous funders of Moishe House also has other causes near and dear to his heart, so a few years ago, I attended the Cheetah Conservation Fund DC Chapter’s 12th Annual Fundraising Benefit in Georgetown.
Jackie: What is something you think your community members would be surprised to learn?
David: I’m an introvert. Maybe others are already aware of it, but I didn’t even know it until I had been a Moishe House resident for a year.
Jackie: How do you stay involved in the Jewish community now that you no longer live in Moishe House?
David: I still attend the occasional Moishe House event, but one of the best privileges of being an alum is getting to host through Moishe House Without Walls. I also go to special events, like the super-cool GatherDC rebrand party and OneTable Shabbat dinners.
Jackie: What is your favorite Jewish Food?
David: There are so many great choices (brisket, sweet potato latkes, etc.), but I think I have to go with challah — specifically my mom’s challah.
Jackie: What is one thing you can’t get through the day without?
David: Moving around. I walk a lot (including to and from work), and I don’t like sitting for long periods of time, so I sometimes stand at my desk. I don’t understand how anyone can drive to work and then sit at a desk all day. Stretch your legs!
Finish the sentence: When the Jews Gather…the conversation never (ever) ends.