Guy of the Week- Ari (Rosh Pina)

What brought you to DC?
My first post-college job in 2006 was a fellowship at an incredible Jewish organization in DC called PANIM. PANIM, now part of BBYO, brings Jewish high school students to DC from around the country to learn about public service and public policy and advocate before their congressional representatives on the issues they find important. Law school kept me here. Also, my wife is from this area.

Tell us about Rosh Pina.
Oxymoron alert! We are a progressive Orthodox community that strives to combine the values of halacha (Jewish law) and egalitarianism. At services we have separate seating with a mechitzah, though men and women both lead torah and defined parts of the prayers. In addition to our two Saturday meetings each month, we also meet periodically on Friday nights (next on June 15!) and for educational and social events, including Saturday lunches and happy hours. We’re still a fairly new and small group. We pride ourselves on being friendly and welcoming.

Where can we find you on a Friday Night?
Shabbat dinner with family and friends. And probably playing board games. Current favorite is Dominion and its Hinterlands expansion, which I recently acquired. On-gain effects really change the dynamic of some games. Other frequently played games include Pandemic and, of course, Settlers of Catan.

Where can we find you on a Saturday Morning?
At Rosh Pina! We now meet in the 16th St. Lobby of the DCJCC on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month.

What’s your favorite Shabbat dish?
Pizza. Seriously. I make a great homemade pizza that we frequently eat on Shabbat. A cow-based favorite is empanada. Pretty much anything in pastry dough is delicious.

Who are the coolest Jews in DC?
My in-laws? (I don’t want to get in trouble).

What is the best thing to do in DC during the Summer?
Biking! There are some great trails in this area. The Mt. Vernon trail is particularly fun. It starts by the monuments and then goes through Gravelly Point where you can watch the planes land and take off at Reagan right over your head. It then continues on through Old Town Alexandria and ends at Mt. Vernon. Highly recommended.