Jewish Guy of the Year Marc’s Acceptance Speech

GTJ520_065Every year, I am truly awed by the Washington, D.C. Young professional Jewish Community. Where else are you able to have so many great organizations working to support Jewish Young Professionals on their Jewish journey? As Rabbi Aaron Miller from 2239 said in a recent article in eJewish Philanthropy discussing 2239’s work with other organizations, “We care about each other’s success, respect each other’s calendars, and some of our best events are collaborations between organizations.” There are fantastic organizations each adding to DC’s 20’s and 30’s Jewish experience, and Gather the Jews is a part of the glue that holds us all together.

GTJ520_045D.C. doesn’t just have great Jewish organizations, but I have found that D.C. has amazing Jews. I believe that it is the power and the passion of each member of our community that drives these organizations to create unique Jewish experiences. D.C.’s Jews are passionate. During this campaign, I had the opportunity to talk to so many individuals who have a deep commitment to the issues that they care about, whether that is through Jewish organizations or through non- profits or even political campaigns. And it is this passion that I think makes the Jewish community in D.C. truly special.

I was never the cool kid in high school, and let’s face it, even though I’m Gather the Jews’ JGOTY, I’m barely cooler now. But I care about Judaism, I care about D.C.’s Jews, and in some small way, I want everyone in DC to find and then build up whatever is the meaningful Jewish place for them, whether that is a religious experience, social justice work, Torah studying or just hanging out with other Jews. As I take a moment to think about my own small place in this community, I wonder how as a broad community we can help support each and every person’s passion. How as a community can we make the various D.C. communities a better place than when we arrived? How can we make D.C. our Jewish home?

GTJ520_057Lastly, I want to thank all the people who voted for me, thank my parents and sisters for all their love and support and to all my dear friends who helped me throughout. I also want to provide a shout out to Nathaniel for an amazing video that highlights many great Jewish organizations in D.C. (definitely check them all out) and Gabe for making an excellent House of Cards spoof. I also want to thank 2239, in particular Metro Minyan,the RAC and JUFJ for helping me on my Jewish journey.

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