Aaron: What brought you to DC?
Jordon: A bus ticket from New Jersey that cost me $1. Literally. The ads don’t lie! Currently, I am working as a Research Assistant at a small non-profit called the Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia. We are all ecstatic to watch the first-ever Saudi women compete in the London 2012 Olympics over the coming weeks.
Aaron: How does the DC biking fare to that of New York?
Jordon: In New York, the bike lanes are essential, but cars still tend to neglect your existence. Thus far, I’ve only had one minor duel with a DC taxi driver. I was riding along a one-way street and this guy drove up awfully close to me, causing me to lose my balance and fall into the window of a parked car on my right. I ended up bouncing off the window, while losing a decent amount of skin near my right elbow.
Aaron: Where can we find you on a Friday night?
Jordon: I am very new in this community so my approach has been to seek out a different Jewish crowd every week. I have yet to pin myself down to any specific scene and I try my hardest not to do repeats, so if anybody has any ideas that fall outside the following list please let me know: 6th and I, Metro Minyan, Chabad GW, Swann House, some bearded dude named Jeff’s basement…
Aaron: So you’re a Phish Phan. Which scene in DC are you fanatical about?
Jordon: Definitely U Street on a Saturday night: the dancing at El Centro, the bass amps at Patty Boom Boom, and the hipster crowd at the U Street Music Hall. And Wild Nothing has been the soundtrack to my summer. I have actually had their song “Live in Dreams” on loop for weeks.
Aaron: What are your favorite DC Jewish activities?
Jordon: The free ones (I’m on a student budget). Recently, I participated in a thought-provoking, discussion-based class entitled “Jewish Philosophy After the Holocaust” at the JCC. In the latter class of the two-part series, we focused on issues of memory in its role of “recreating” the Holocaust. We explored whether the mass-producing of Holocaust memories (think “Schindler’s List,” the Holocaust Museum) trivializes, or cheapens the Holocaust. As with many things in life, we are faced with the perpetual challenge between sustaining the original quality of something, and disseminating it to as many people as possible. Yes, we should opt for both, but one is eventually going to have to budge. In this case, I believe that the imperative to educate as many people as possible outweighs the secondary concern of trivialization. I also love walking to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden on Shabbat afternoons, and driving up to Rockville on Wednesday nights only to discover that the sushi chef is sick (hopefully not from his own sushi).
Aaron: Who was the first DC Jew that you met and what did they tell you?
Jordon: Recent Jewish Girl of the Week Shoshana Weider. I was at Chabad DuPont for my first Shabbat, and Shoshanna told me “I looked lonely” and then proceeded to gather me in.
Aaron: What makes your Jewish mother proud?
Jordon: My mother is very proud that I’ve made a great group/groups of friends down here in such a short amount of time. I have also picked up a great degree of her culinary expertise.
Aaron: So your mother is a gourmet chef. How come you are in such great shape?
Jordon: See answers to questions #2 and #3.
Aaron: Any chance of you following in her footsteps, career wise?
Jordon: Maybe. I love to cook, but, ever since I was a little boy, I have had this dream to become Executive Director for Gather the Jews. I could see myself pursuing both careers at some point in the near future.