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Rachel: Aren’t you the pickle guy?
Max: You know what? I’m sick of everyone saying, “you’re the pickle guy, you’re the pickle guy”. I’m so much more as a person than the stupid pickle contests I win. I’m also the yogurt guy.
Rachel: What brought you to DC, Yogurt Guy?
Max: I was living in Atlanta and thinking: this town could use more healthcare policy debates at happy hour, 400 lb. matching t-shirt tourists on segways, defunct escalators, and snowpocalypses (sp?). So I moved for those reasons and for a job. But mostly for those reasons.
Rachel: You look familiar…have we seen your face on the metro? What was that about?
Max: That was indeed my big Hebrew shnauze poking into your morning metro commute courtesy of Masa Israel. Masa is one of the Jewish organizations I volunteer with in DC helping to bring people to Israel for work, study, and internships. And for some reason, they decided to put my face in your faces as an ad and a video (with a slow walk!). I don’t know how effective the ad was for Masa, but it definitely increased Metro’s revenue from myself alone after I started riding the train 13 times more often. And now, at least some people call me “the poster guy”.
Rachel: Ok, Poster Guy, what do you do and what else do you do in the community?Max: Professionally, I’m a research director for a small national security focused think tank. Community-wise, in addition to the DC Masa Board, I’m a founding member of HaLev Israel and a HaLev scholar, an Alumni Leadership Mission trip participant to Israel, an RJC Young Leader, an Impact 2013 Committee member, a Charter Member of DC Federal City Rotary, have held DC fundraisers for the Rett Syndrome Foundation and Michael J. Fox Foundation (Team Fox), and will soon launch a Jewish young professionals brunch series. I don’t have any net worth yet beyond my 1996 Nissan so I volunteer my time for pretty much any good cause whenever I’m not traveling (which is often).
Rachel: What is your favorite Jewish food?
Max: Meat’s a food right? All of those – all of the Jewish meats. Corned beef, pastrami, brisket, shwarma… Shwarma’s Jewish, right? Or did I just get a fatwa?
Rachel: Who is the coolest Jew?
Max: Mike Katz. If I were stranded on a desert island and could only bring one thing with me, without even blinking an eye, it would be Mike Katz.
Rachel: Finish the sentence: When the Jews gather…
Max: Mike Katz must be signing autographs.