Meet Jeremy, Jewish Fiancé of the Week!

by Samuel Milligan / February 14, 2024

The GatherDC blog strives to present a holistic portrait of the DMV’s Jewish community, sharing a wide variety of Jewish voices and perspectives. If you have a 20- or 30-something to nominate as our Jewish Person of the Week or for a Spotted in Jewish DMV feature, please email us!

Jeremy and I sit down for an afternoon chat at Bluestone Lane, where we talk about his recent engagement, playing soccer in Prague, feeling lonely, finding community, and the “special, infinite being connecting us” in this lovely Valentine’s Day feature!

Jeremy on a wakeboard.

Samuel: What brought you to the DMV?

Jeremy: I went to Clemson for five years – four years of undergrad, then an extra year for a Master’s, both in industrial engineering. I got a job with Deloitte and moved up here, which was an easy decision because my brother lives here, too, and had already established some roots.

Samuel: Did you have an impression of DC’s Jewish community from him? How did that compare to your actual experience?

Jeremy and Eden at a NYE party. Jeremy: My brother told me there was a great Jewish community here, and that was a priority in coming to DC because I wanted a Jewish community and people with which to surround myself, which I didn’t have at all at Clemson.

That’s why I got involved with GatherDC, going to happy hours and Mini Gatherings [Editor’s note: 20s Mini Gatherings applications are open through February 19th!], as well as Sixth & I. I like going to those social events and meeting people. I met Eden, my girlfriend, in Mini Gatherings in February 2022, and actually proposed this past Saturday. [Editor’s note: She said yes!]

Samuel: Wow! Congratulations. How did we get here from there?

Jeremy: It’s funny, we both came into Mini Gatherings thinking that this could be a way to meet someone romantically. She told me much later that she left that first class thinking: I do not think I met my husband here. But we were friends! I went on birthright in May 2022 and, even though whenever I travel I try to not use my phone, I remember intentionally sitting down to text her about the trip. I thought: If I’m doing this, then there’s something there. 

Jeremy and Eden get engaged!That July, we got margaritas at Mission Dupont to plan out a kickball team we were starting together, and I left that like: Man, I really like her. We started dating that August, and I think it was easy to be with each other because we’d built up such a great friendship and connection. 

There’s no one moment where I realized I loved her or that this was for forever. Everything just felt so easy: moving in together, proposing, all of that just felt so comfortable and open and smooth. I remember telling her I loved her for the first time, we were sitting together and it just kind of came out. I said: I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, and I feel so connected to you. She was like: I’ve been waiting for you to say it! 

Then, it came full circle and I officially proposed to her last Saturday on Hi-Lawn at Union Market, where I first asked her to be my girlfriend! It was such a special day. Then, that night, we had an engagement party where both of our families and all of our closest friends came! It is a day I will remember forever.

Samuel: That’s really lovely. Eden actually nominated you for this interview, and told me I had to ask you about your soccer team, so…tell me about soccer!

Jeremy outside a soccer stadium.Jeremy: I play probably three times a week with a team called DC Cheddar. It’s a bunch of good players – we have three or four ex-MLS players – and we take it probably way too seriously. It’s so much fun, and I love the super high level of competition. Soccer is truly the place where I can disconnect and let go of everything else. It’s also a great way to connect with people; two of my groomsmen are going to be people I play soccer with. 

I’m also really excited because, in June, I’m going to Prague to play for Deloitte’s U.S. soccer team. Deloitte has their own World Cup, and we’ll be playing in a tournament. It’s going to be pretty fun.

Samuel: Besides the obvious, what are you feeling proud about right now?

Jeremy: Coming from this really tough situation at Clemson with no Jewish community, I felt like I had no connection to something I love. Even for the first six months after I moved to DC, there were a lot of nights where it was hard, feeling like I didn’t know anyone. But to see where I am now, with great friends and an amazing Jewish community, I’m just really proud of that whole journey. 

Samuel: How else has your Judaism evolved over the past few years?

Jeremy: I’ve definitely stepped up my excitement for practices within Judaism such as Shabbat, whether that’s going to services or just with Eden and me. I love being a part of Sixth & I. I’ve come full circle from being a participant in GatherDC’s Mini Gatherings to having a chance to be a facilitator for Sixth & I’s Small Groups, Big Questions. It was so exciting to give back and facilitate that kind of incredibly impactful experience for others. There’s something so special about strangers coming together to talk through these deep topics, learn from one another, and intentionally bond. It was beautiful to witness.

Jeremy and friends. Samuel: What is resonating for you, Jewishly, coming out of that experience? It must be very different being a participant versus needing to lead those conversations. 

Jeremy: The coolest part about Judaism is that you can express your relationship to it in so many different ways. We talked about that a lot with the Sixth & I group. I would say I’m pretty spiritual, too; I definitely believe in the role that God has to play in my life. I really believe that God is in every one of us, and that we’re all connected because of that. That allows me to better connect with other people, because I believe we already have that closeness. We have this special, infinite being connecting us, and that means we’re all in this together. 

Something else that’s resonating for me is that I’m the lead DMV Jewish coordinator for Deloitte. I hosted the first ever Hanukkah party at our Rosslyn office, which has been around for over 20 years. I was always someone who didn’t want to express my religion at work, and I understand people who don’t feel comfortable, but I got to a point in life where now I do want to share, because it opens space for other people to do so. If I’m willing to put myself out there, other people might feel more comfortable, too.

When we don’t have that kind of space, there’s an extra barrier to collaborating and connecting with other people. I had a coworker come to the Hanukkah party, and I didn’t even know she was Jewish. It’s made us closer because now we know we have those shared values.

Jeremy sits at an overlook of a city. Samuel: Okay, a few quick ones to close. What is something in the DMV that not enough people know about? 

Jeremy: I love the O Street Museum. It’s this massive mansion with over 70 hidden doors and passageways. There’s no manual; you have to look for clues and find everything yourself. 

Samuel: You can invite any three people to Shabbat dinner. Who would they be and why? 

Jeremy: I would definitely invite Messi. I studied abroad in Argentina and it really opened my eyes to just…I don’t know how to explain it, Argentina just needs Messi. I’d also invite Dan Brown, the author of The Da Vinci Code. He’s one of my favorite authors. Then, Eden! That would be so much fun with her and those two guys. 

Samuel: Finish the sentence. When Jews of the DMV gather…

Jeremy: We’re all trying to build a community and support each other. We want to have meaningful experiences and connect.

Samuel: Any last thoughts?

Jeremy: Buying a ring with someone is very fun. I would recommend it.

Jeremy leaps to trap a soccer ball.

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