Want to recommend an outstanding leader to be featured on GTJ? Nominate him/her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aaron: Tell us about the Reverse Mifgash.
David: Reverse Mifgash is an amazing program which brings Israelis to DC to learn about our community like we learned about theirs in Israel on Birthright. Initially the idea of Birthright alum over the past 5 years I have seen countless friendships develop between the Americans and Israelis but also just in our community. I guess you can say it helps people gather. One cool fact about Reverse Mifgash is that it is made possible because of the friend raising efforts of Birthright alumni (which means your friends) and the support of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. Think about the wild nights of any trip to Israel and now picture that right here in DC!
Aaron: How can we get involved?
David: Great question! Well the “Genie in a bottle” is out about the rocking Party Like its 1999: Birthright’s Bar Mitzvah Bash October 11th. Hopefully no “Scar Tissue” will be created as we break down the dance floor celebrating 13 years of Birthright Israel. The night before we will be at a wine and cheese reception at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum previewing some videos from the Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive. So “Write This Down” and register at http://www.shalomdc.org/reversemifgash and come have fun with us.
Aaron: You are a pillar in the DC Jewish community, what got you so involved?
David: The short answer is an ask six years ago but my journey started before then. I have always had a strong connection to my local Jewish community from my Temple growing up, then Hillel and now all of us. When looking for something to get involved with it just made sense to connect to the Jewish community. Over time, I have gotten this persona as a pillar from showing up, meeting people and being friendly and helpful.
Aaron: What is the best part of DC Jewish life?
David: Two things: a vast array of opportunities and a commitment to young professionals. There are well over a dozen Jewish organizations that run programs geared toward our generation so no matter what you are interested, I am sure we can find an outlet for you to express it and act upon it, and support it. Additionally, the DC Jewish community understands the importance to engaging our generation and getting them involved in decision making. Combined, I think this makes DC a unique and great place for young Jews.
Aaron: Where will you be in 5 years?
David: Good thing I got my psychic the other day for a reading. I recently launched a blog EvaluatingEffectiveness.com which focuses on program evaluation in the non-profit sector. I am looking to go back to school and then transition the blog into a company working with organizations to quantify the impact they are having for donors and improve their operations.
Aaron: Where are you for Sukkot?
David: I’ll be out in the back…isn’t that where you build your sukkah? I have helped build two sukkah’s this year one at AU Hillel and another with GTJ and the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes. I wish I could be at Etrogs & Eggrolls at 6th and I Thursday night so you should all go for me. Friday the 5th, I might be at Adas for Shir Delight. However, I will not be missing out on the amazing celebrations for Simchat Torah. You have many options for where to go but I will be dancing in the streets at 6th and I.
Aaron: What happens when Jews Gather?
David: Community builds, Relationships develop, and babies are made. Come on, don’t act like you don’t enjoy the great love stories that come out of Jewish events. Did you hear about the recent engagement of two people who met at Reverse Mifgash 2010 (like you needed another reason to come)… But seriously, Judaism is built on the idea of community. Just look at the idea of the minyan.