Jewish Guy of the Week – Zach

Aaron: We heard that you just launched a new venture with Presentense. Tell us more.

Zach: Yes! The fellowship launched last week. My Project is entitled NetaMap (Neta meaning “to plant” or “seedling” in Hebrew). Broadly, the project is about tikkun olam. Jewish students and professionals of all ages engage with communities all around the globe on short and long term community service trips—and in doing so, they gradually learn the skills and information necessary  to strengthen and live in a specific community—from the smallest logistical details to the most general and comprehensive ones.

Currently, there is no efficient or easy way to share that information or to track the progress an individual or group has made during a trip. NetaMap is an online platform that will allow individuals or groups to populate a map with information about their service trip—information that can inform the next round of volunteers or help to keep past volunteers engaged. Whether someone is going to a region for building, teaching, conservation, community development, health work or a range of other projects, NetaMap will provide a clear, visual platform through which information and advice can be shared.

Aaron: How can we become more involved?

Zach: I am currently looking for individuals with experience in website development, non-profit marketing, and/or communications, as well as anyone involved in organizing and running service and volunteer trips. The website is still in development and I would love to hear your ideas!

Aaron: What is your favorite memory of Israel?

Zach: I stayed with my cousins in Tel Aviv for a winter. Sitting around the breakfast table, drinking coffee, and talking…

Aaron: Where can we find you on a Friday night?

Zach: I usually spend Shabbat with my family and three dogs in Maryland.

Aaron: What is your favorite thing about DC Jewish life?

Zach: The DC Jewish community is constantly engaging with new ideas—finding ways to apply what they’ve learned as part of the DC political/think tank/ NGO world into a form that strengthens Jewish learning and giving. It’s a very creative and resolute group.