Jewish Guy of the Week – Eli

Eli on why he should be Jewish guy of the Year:

Who else has the endorsement or Uri Manor, last year’s Guy of the Year? To quote Uri, “Eli would make a great Guy of the Year, especially if it keeps him from mentioning what really happened to that “missing” hiker who messed up that photo I was taking on the Outdoor Cluster hike we did together. So yeah, he is a really great guy.”

If an expert at being guy of the year like Uri isn’t enough to convince you maybe knowing I run the Outdoor Cluster for the JCC is? Leading lots of different hikes and bike rides during the year to have fun and enjoy the outdoors. I’m not saying that you have to vote for me to do any of our activities (hint, you still should), but I do try to fight the stereotype that Jews can’t be athletic by trying to get fellow Jews to do 100 mile bike rides and 10+ mile hikes. (Are you doing your part by joining the cluster?) In fact I’m so dedicated to breaking the stereotype that I’ve lead some of the events on Saturday which we all know is a very Jewish day to do athletic events on. (That is why the JCC started to complain saying I should do them on Sundays, right?) Isn’t that worth your vote? Sure, the turn out for the more hardcore events may be lower then the easier hikes so maybe there is truth to this stereotype, but its the thought that counts, right?

So if you like 30+ or even 50+ mile bike rides and 10+ mile hikes join the Outdoor Cluster and help me prove that Jews can be athletic. Also, vote for me for Guy of the year.

What’s the Great Outdoors Cluster?

The cluster I run is made up of a group of young, active Jewish guys and gals who get together to enjoy nature. We do all sorts of outdoor activities like road biking, hiking, camping, climbing, boating, and other fun stuff. We do some on our own, some with other groups like Moishe House Montgomery County, and sometimes we hook up with large events, like the 50 States Ride.

Why do you love the outdoors?
What’s not to love? Doesn’t everyone like pushing themselves and getting high off endorphins? I get to  enjoy nature with others. It’s a lot more fun going on a hike with a bunch of people you like, including some of my cluster regulars (shout out to Laura Rheinheimer, co-chair of the cluster). And I really love being out in the remote outdoors with cute athletic types.

Wait a minute, sounds like you’re using your club as a front to meet women.
Well, I do hate those elitist, DC-style happy hours as a way to meet people. You can’t really get to know someone in a crowded, loud bar. Speed dating doesn’t lend to getting to know someone, and online profiles?  Ha.  So basically I don’t like the traditional ways most people suggest.  Plus, adventurous, outdoorsy folks are way more down-to-earth and easier to connect to. Now where was I? Oh yeah, why I like to get outdoors… In computer programming, you’re kind of stuffed up in an office all day, so it’s nice to escape from computer screens and just relax, disconnected from modern technology.

Is that a GPS on your bike?  That doesn’t sound very disconnected.
Okay, I still like playing with gadgets.

Which do you like better: cold weather or warm weather?
Well, that depends. In the summer, I like to do cycling, hiking, and camping. In the winter, I like to do cycling, hiking, and camping, only with way more layers. There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.

Why do you think the Great Outdoors Cluster has the weekly Saturday bike rides posted on the GTJ calendar?
Getting outdoors can be challenging in the winter, especially for those who get cold easily, like me. We are trying to branch out to some other winter-friendly activities, such as indoor rock-climbing, and camping later in December (with proper gear, of course).

Are you part of a bike gang?
And have the tat to prove it. Just kidding about that part but I do have some serious street cred.  We are very intimidating in our spandex bike wear.

Where do you come from?
Pikesville in Maryland, doesn’t everyone grow up in a place where the public schools are almost all Jewish?

When are you moving to Israel?
When they put in decent bike lanes.