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Meet Eric: A mensch who hosts game night Shabbats, enjoys Latino Disney movies, and dreams of celebrating Passover “next year in Barcelona”.
Side note: Eric is also helping plan the Jewish People of the YEAR Celebration where we’ll toast to awesome young adults (like Mr. Schwartz) who have been featured as Jewish Person of the Week this past year, and everyone who makes our community so amazing!
Allie: What brought you to DC?
Eric: I moved down here for a job after graduation and moved in with a friend from college. I spent the first year in DC hanging out with work friends and friends from college, and then I discovered GatherDC.
Allie: How did you get involved with GatherDC/ DC’s Jewish community?
Eric: My Jewish life was very ingrained in my college experience at Cornell. But, after graduating I had almost no Jewish friends, so I went to a GatherDC happy hour by myself. I saw one person at the happy hour who I knew and he who told me about GatherDC’s Beyond the Tent retreat. I didn’t know anyone else going, but ended up making a lot of close friends, some of which I’m still friends with today – almost 2 years later.
Allie: What was your experience like on Beyond the Tent?
Eric: Beyond the Tent was a lot of fun, and a way to escape the busy life in DC, and have introspective conversations that we don’t get to do in our normal day-to-day life. The retreat showed me that there is a lot in DC in terms of Jewish life. I learned about Mesorah DC on the trip, and went on a Miami trip with them where I met a lot of other friends. These two trips were the avenues from which I built my social circles in DC, and then I became an Open Doors Fellow for GatherDC because I was interested in helping others have the same experience that I had.
Allie: What’s your favorite way to spend Shabbat?
Eric: Game night. Some friends and I will host a Shabbat dinner through OneTable, and we’ll play CodeNames, Avalon, Drunk/Stoned/or Stupid, What Do You Meme, and Cards Against Human.
I’ll take on cooking with my roommate or girlfriend, we’ll do a small reflection on everyone’s week, eat, and then head to the game part.
Allie: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Eric: A life quote I always live by, and has been recently popularized by my favorite NBA Team (The Philadelphia 76ers) is “trust the process”. To me, this means doing everything and anything it takes to get to your long term goals. At the end of the day we all want something, and it may not look like it’s the clearest road to that path, but if you keep driving down that road – with hard work and good timing – you can get there.
Allie: What’s your favorite Disney movie?
Eric: “The Three Caballeros” – I’m Latino and grew up watching this movie, it was made in the 1940’s I believe, and I highly recommend this movie!
Allie: If you could be anywhere right now, where would it be and why?
Eric: I studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain and would give anything to be back there.
Allie: What’s your favorite Passover food?
Eric: I was just introduce to it this weekend. My girlfriend’s family makes gravlax which is sushi grade salmon with dill, and avocado.
Allie: Complete the sentence: When Jews of DC Gather…
Eric: They are welcomed with open arms.