Jewish Guy – Uri

Uri on why he should be Jewish Guy of the Year:
If I could explain why I should be GTJJGOTY in under 50 words, would I deserve such a prestigious title??? Briefly, I’m working with rabbis on a book that reunites science/Torah, I’ve got 5 guitars, great hair, and I can stand on my head. What else could you possibly want???

Have you ever straightened your hair?
I wish you hadn’t asked me that. Yes, I did straighten it once in high school. I was so disappointed that I subsequently shaved it off, but only after dyeing it bleach blonde and surprising my girlfriend at work with it. In retrospect, I don’t understand why she didn’t dump me immediately. But I will point out that she helped me shave my head.

Where do you live and why?
Moishe House Silver Spring!!! WHY?? Because it is the most awesome place any Jew could live and/or hang out this day and age. Duh. We organize and host events for all Jews (and friends of Jews) to attend, i.e. Shabbat dinners, book clubs (I’m currently running a book club on science and G-d), hiking trips to Shenandoah, open-mic nights, etc etc etc.

It seems like you have been in school for a really long time…why?!
Because I don’t want to grow up and work in the “real world”. In all seriousness, one of my favorite things about Jewish culture is our emphasis on education and learning. I hope to be in school forever, but while a biophysicist grad student’s stipend isn’t too terrible (ok ok…yes it is pretty bad), I would much rather get paid a professor’s salary. I’ll keep you posted on my progress towards that goal…

What is the coolest part about being an Israeli in the US?
The fact that I’m so atypical. I thrive on not fitting in and having a unique place and perspective in the world. I also like that someday I can get US research grants but do collaborative research with labs in Israel – US scientists have lots of money to spare compared to Israelis, and I’m really excited about being able to give back to our homeland someday.

Can you count to 10 in Hebrew?
I hope you’re joking.

Who is your favorite living Jew?
My sister. She’s an enigma wrapped in a conundrum, but somehow she’s so lovable.

Where do you spend Friday nights?
Lately I’ve been trying to leave lab early enough to make it home for Shabbat, whereupon I’ll go to services at Ohev Sholom, or just chill at home and read and hang out with my Moisheketeer roommates. As mentioned before, we also often host Shabbat dinners. You should come!

Who is the coolest Jew in DC?
I would say Rahm Emanuel, but apparently he’s heading back to Chicago to run for mayor, so poo on him. Since I’m assuming “myself” isn’t an option, I’m gonna to have to go with Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz. She revolutionized modern biology by using microscopes to image living cells and their moving parts, and her sense of awe with the miraculous world of the biological cell is absolutely contagious and inspiring. The fact that just trying to understand things that “look cool” can help cure disease is why I love being a microscopist, and she epitomizes the potential of our profession.