Describe what you do:
I’m the marketing manager for the Workers Circle, a nonprofit that powers Jewish identity and culture by championing progressive causes. In my free time, I’m one of the cofounders and board chairs of the Queens Jewish Project, a social group for young Jewish adults. Since our conception (as part of the Union for Reform Judaism’s JewV’Nation fellowship), we’ve facilitated over 40 events including High Holy Day services, building a sukkah in Gantry State Park, brunches, dinners and an ongoing yoga and mediation series. I’m also the vice president of the Free Synagogue of Flushing’s sisterhood and an active member of my synagogue community.
Unexpected fun fact:
I once ordered James Franco a salad while working in film PR.
Quote you live by:
“Humanity is my people, the wide world is my fatherland, and helping everyone to advance towards happiness is my religion!” — Abraham Cahan
How you got here:
I enjoy “synagogue hopping” with friends in Manhattan and came to realize that many people need to travel long distances to be around other Jewish young adults on Shabbat. I also missed the tight-knit progressive Jewish community that I grew up in. I met a few people my age from Jackson Heights, Queens, at services on the Upper West Side and we discussed building our own community. We applied for and received an incubator grant with the Union for Reform Judaism’s JewV’Nation fellowship and were able to draw on the mentorship we received as part of that program and my experiences promoting the wildly popular Shabbat After Dark Program at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue (where I worked for two years as their marketing manager) to start hosting programs.
As we grew, we forged meaningful relationships with like-minded Jewish communities in Queens. Partnerships with The Free Synagogue of Flushing, Malkhut and the Wandering Jews of Astoria have greatly enhanced our programming and the Jewish landscape of Queens.
How does your Jewish identity/Jewish values influence the work that you do?
For millennia, Jewish communities have adapted to their surroundings — to simultaneously embrace change and tradition to enrich our lives. I value education and am a firm believer in welcoming the stranger, and hosting others. I take Jewish womanhood, community building and food very seriously.
Setbacks, errors and lessons learned:
The Covid-19 outbreak was a major setback. I had so much fun at our Purim party, and it reminded me that community is more than just getting together in person. It’s been really moving to see Jews in Queens support each other from afar.
Follow me: @QueensJews