Josh Sushan is no stranger to travel—his job for the last five years has taken him all over the world. But despite his nomadic lifestyle, Josh has a deep love for everything DC has to offer. Read on to learn more about Josh’s incredible family history, favorite DMV spots, and just how many languages he knows.
GatherDC: Tell me what brought you to the DC area, and why you’ve stayed?
Josh: My work for the last five years has required a lot of travel. I used to fly to DC quite often for work and ended up falling in love with the city. While I still travel quite a bit, DC is an amazing international hub with so many different cultures, perspectives, and opportunities to meet people from all over the world. It’s the best city to immerse yourself in worldly affairs.
GatherDC: Wow, that’s so cool that you get to travel so much! You mentioned you’re still traveling—what’s that been like recently?
Josh: I’ve been fully nomadic for the last six months, and have had amazing opportunities to meet artists, entrepreneurs, and other incredible people from around the world. It was incredible meeting some of my coworkers for the first time in person, in another country, while experiencing some of the beautiful things this world has to offer.
GatherDC: When you’re in DC, what’s your dream day from start to finish?
Josh: This is a hard one…I’d say early morning kayak ride on the Potomac from Georgetown, then schlepping over to a farmers market and picking up fresh fruit, bread, and produce. Afterwards, a picnic brunch near the tidal basin area by the water. There’s a specific area past the baseball fields where the view is serene. I would spend most of the day there, relaxing with food, music, and enjoying the company I’m with, eventually leaving serenity to go to a dinner at Zaytinya. Amazing food, atmosphere, and drinks. Post-Zaytinya, we end the night in a hot tub in any of the Mt. Vernon or NoMa building rooftops overlooking the city skyline.
GatherDC: As someone who travels a ton, what do you love about DC and what is one thing you would change about DC?
Josh: Love: people, food, culture, diversity, and opportunity. Change: the speed limit on the scooters: 10mph, c’mon! I can crawl faster. [Editor’s note: Community poll—too slow?]
GatherDC: We just wrapped up Hanukkah, where fried food reigns supreme. Do you have any favorite Jewish foods?
Josh: Matzah farfel during Chanukah. So unhealthy but wow, I could eat buckets of it.
GatherDC: I’m really interested to know more about how you connect with your Jewish identity. Can you tell me?
Josh: The last three generations of women in my family were single mothers, one of whom was a Holocaust survivor. The other uprooted our entire family’s life to escape the persecution of Jews in the Soviet Union. My Jewish identity is founded in everything my family has gone through to get to where we are today. It shapes who I am, how I grow, and who I will be. This same story is what fuels my connection to Judaism and my engagement with it. Whether through greeting people on Shabbat greetings (regardless of where we are in the world) or volunteering with Jewish organizations, my identity guides how I live out my values.
GatherDC: We heard you recently received an award from B’nai B’rith Connect. Congratulations! Can you tell us more about it?
Josh: Thank you! I’m the incoming chair for their global young leadership division. My involvement has been centered around developing the global young leadership network and representing B’nai B’rith International on numerous cultural/civic engagement missions to countries like Japan, Greece, the United Kingdom, Cyprus, Israel, and many others. The purpose of these missions was to meet with heads of state, government representatives, and other influential figures to identify ways to fight anti-semitism and other forms of hate, build a stronger relationship with Israel, and represent young Jewish Americans on the global stage.
GatherDC: We’re getting close to 2022, so it’s a popular time for New Year’s resolutions. If you could learn one new personal skill this year, what would it be and why?
Josh: When I travel for work or for fun, meeting new people, experiencing cultures, and stepping outside of my comfort zone are a must. As of now, I can converse in four languages and hope to add one more to the list in the next year!
GatherDC: And, our last question as always—finish this sentence: “When Jews of DC Gather…”
Josh: We make our global community feel a little bit smaller.
Follow Josh on Instagram @sushistumbles.
* * *
The views and opinions expressed in this blog and on this website are solely those of the original authors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the organization GatherDC, the GatherDC staff, the GatherDC board, and/or any/all contributors to this site.