Julie: What brought you to DC and what made you stay?
Ethan: I moved back after college since I’m from here. But, every time I moved away (college, NYC, Atlanta for grad school), I always had a desire to move back.
Julie: Describe your dream day in the DMV from start to finish.
Ethan: I like to think of this as “what would be your perfect fall Sunday” (and not just because it’s fall and it’s a picturesque Sunday). ANYWAY, it would start with waking up without an alarm, sipping on freshly brewed coffee/espresso while reading the news; get in a workout and make breakfast; take my dog Ellie for a walk around the mall; maybe go to the farmers market, maybe see friends; and then cook something that takes a little bit of time and effort that I likely wouldn’t be able to cook during the week.
Julie: How do you connect with your Jewish identity or the Jewish community?
Ethan: My dad and I throughout the pandemic started a tradition where we would each pour a glass of scotch or bourbon, say “Shabbat Shalom,” clink, and drink. Then we continued it when I moved to Atlanta last year.
But more generally, I try to maintain close bonds with some of my longest friends who are also part of the Jewish community.
Julie: Do you have a favorite Jewish tradition or experience?
Ethan: Besides the aforementioned scotch tradition with my dad, I went to Israel over the summer for a family friend’s wedding that then expanded into a longer family trip. Yes, of course, the food was incredible, but two things really stood out to me that really make it my favorite experience. The first is for the first time in my life, it felt like there were similar people around me, that everyone around me was very likely Jewish. And the second thing was the direct, linear connection between Jewish and regional history dating back millennia. And what really made it so special was getting a much better, deeper, and fuller understanding of how each civilization over time came to be in power and just generally feeling a part of something bigger than myself.
Julie: What is one new fun hobby you’ve gotten into over the course of this pandemic?
Ethan: I moved home at the beginning of the pandemic and during the first 2-3 months we would post a “daily menu” on social media sharing everything we would eat/drink – it really took off. To this day, at weddings and any other time I’ve seen friends for the first time in years, people will still bring those up. As an example, for Ellie’s birthday, we made the entire menu hot dog-themed – probably a low-hanging fruit but it was funny at the time! What made the hobby especially important is that food and cooking have always been a deep passion and a way our family connects – so during a challenging and confusing time in all of our lives, the menus and cooking provided some degree of stability and calm.
And if that doesn’t cut it as a hobby…let’s go with pelotoning!
Julie: Do you have a Jewish role model? If so, who and why?
Ethan: Cory Meyer [Editor’s note: Our Cyclist of the Week and our Dachshund Lover of the Week go way back to their Wisconsin Days!]. But in all seriousness, one of my older cousins is likely the biggest and most influential role model I’ve had, who happens to be Jewish. He’s become somewhat of an older brother I never had and was instrumental in expanding my interests in topics and professions outside of clinical medicine in my early 20s. Every time we get together I learn something new and appreciate his insights and experiences.
Julie: If you could invite any three people to your Shabbat dinner, who would they be and why?
Julie: What’s the one thing you can’t get through the day without?
Ethan: Probablyyyyy…espressos (and Ellie, shocker) [Editor’s note: Have you seen photos of Ellie?? Who could live without that face??]
Julie: When Jews of DC Gather…
Ethan: Gather they Jew…I mean do
P.S. – Hey folks! If you read this and are dying to snuggle a dachshund now…check out the Wiener 500 this Sunday, October 16 at The Wharf!