Jewish Guy of the Week – Matthew

mattWant to recommend an outstanding leader to be featured on GTJ? Nominate him/her at info@gatherthejews.com.

Rachel: What brought you to DC?
Matt: I’ve always been here!  My family has been in DC for three generations (native Washingtonians DO exist!).  One of my grandmothers grew up in the house where she still lives off Connecticut Ave and my other grandmother grew up in Alexandria, Virginia.  I have built a very strong professional network in DC as well through my career in the insurance and benefits business; between that and my strong family ties, there seems to be a strong magnet that keeps me here.

Rachel: Are you involved in any Jewish organizations?
Matt: I have become very involved with The Jewish Federation over the past few years.  I have participated in various volunteer activities, Reverse Mifgash (reverse birthright), and philanthropic ventures.  In fact, I am going on the NEXT DC Alumni Leadership Mission with The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington this November.  It will be a great way to experience the scope of international programming that The Federation actively funds throughout Israel and the world.  I could not be more excited!

impact 2012Rachel: You’re chairing Impact DC.  What is Impact DC?
Matt: Ah, indeed I am!  Impact DC is Young Leadership of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s signature fundraising gala that brings together 300-400 young adults (those in their 20s and 30s) for a celebration of the our generation’s dedication to leadership, charitable giving, and volunteerism.  It is truly the event of the year for Jewish young professionals.

This year’s event is on October 17th at the Howard Theater (and you should visit shalomdc.org/impactdc RIGHT NOW to register!).

Rachel: What is your favorite Jewish food?
Matt: Cliché I know, but it’s definitely lox and whitefish.  It’s in my blood and I am predisposed… I can’t help it!  I don’t need the bagel and cream cheese…. I just need lox and whitefish!

Rachel: Who is the coolest Jew?
Matt: This is a hard one.  At first blush I would answer Einstein, Dylan, Spielberg… But the more I think about it, I have been very fortunate to personally know a great number of “cool” or more accurately characterized as interesting, passionate, and inspiring Jews in my life… many of whom are here in our community in DC.  Ok ok- I’ll pick one (well three)…. my three beautiful nieces- Emerson, Riley and Dahlia.