Meet Mark: Jewish Camper of the Week!

by Allison Friedman / September 26, 2018

Mark Nathanson loves being outside. You might find him kayaking around Roosevelt Island, trekking through the Appalachian Trail, or pitching a tent in Shenandoah National Park. That last one, you can actually join him for this October. Read on! 


Allie: What’s your favorite thing about camping?

Mark: I am going to cheat because I definitely can’t narrow it down to just one. I really like the inherent disconnect camping creates, allowing you to appreciate the experience as well as build meaningful relationships without the distractions of day to day life. Also, you get to see some crazy beautiful stuff that pictures can’t even capture.

Allie: How was the GatherDC camping trip idea born?

Mark: I am pretty sure it came out of a discussion with Daniel Wasserman, another one of our fearless leaders, and the one and only, Aaron Potek. We somehow discovered we are all really into camping and were trying to schedule a weekend to go to Shenandoah. We were debating who to invite, and Daniel was like “What if we just invite the entire DC Jewish community?” 

Allie: What’s your favorite way to relax at the end of a long work week?

Mark: Honestly, nothing beats a good ole Shabbat dinner. Enjoying some good food and wine with friends while catching up on everybody’s week. 

Allie: What is your dream day in DC, from start to finish?

Mark: It would start with no rain and no humidity. Then I would basically spend the whole day outside whether that be kayaking around Roosevelt Island, hiking in Rock Creek Park or going on a long run with friends (my marathon is just around the corner). Then, if I can pair up the outside adventuring with a picnic, I am all set.

Allie: What’s your favorite Jewish holiday and how do you like to celebrate it?

Mark: I would have to say Purim. I think it is pretty underrated, but actually one of the most fun Jewish holidays. My favorite part is definitely making and eating hamantaschen. Plus, I recently learned about savory hamantaschen which was a game-changer.

Allie: What’s at the top of your life bucket list?

Mark: Maybe a thru hike on the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) or AT (Appalachian Trail), or some kind of hardcore backpacking adventure. 

grand canyon

Allie: Who is your Jewish role model?

Mark: Definitely my grandfather.

Allie: What is a quote or piece of wisdom you like to live by?

Mark: Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.

Allie: What’s your favorite smell and why?

Mark: Nothing beats a deep breath of crisp mountain air!

Allie: When Jews of DC Gather…

Mark: They have the weekend of their lives on the GatherDC Camping Trip!

gatherdc camping

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