Shaina: I hear you’re quite the guitar player. Tell us a bit about your background in music.
Ben: When I was nine, my older sister brought home a drum set for herself…but I mistakenly thought it was forme. Years later, I picked up guitar through Jewish music at youth group events and summer camp. I never learned any classic rock songs on guitar, but I know a lot of Debbie Friedman!
Shaina: What do you see as the intersection between music and Judaism?
Ben: Music is one way to enhance and make accessible the great gifts of Judaism. I really like synagogues that bend the rules of formal music and composition to better serve their community engagement.
Shaina: We also know you’re vegan – do you have any good recipes to share?
Ben: Crumble up some tempeh and diced onions – add salt, oil, and a little brown sugar and roast. A great addition to any meal, vegan or not!
Shaina: Any Jewish recipes to add to that list?
Ben: I used to make a mean bread-pudding latke – a dessert latke if you will – but that was well before I was vegan…
Shaina: You moved here pretty recently and started working at Tesla. What’s that like?
Ben: Amazing. The sense of urgency in our mission is invigorating. I’ve never had the opportunity to work on such an important issue as energy sustainability, and it has been a constant source of motivation and pride.
Shaina: What kind of work do you do for them?
Ben: I lead the sales team for Tesla in Baltimore. We educate folks on the many benefits of electric vehicles and help customers find their next car.
Shaina: Complete the sentence: When the Jews Gather…
Ben: It’s generally a little later than we planned, but there’s usually bagels to nosh, so who cares?!