17 June 2022
Since my Jewish faith is a foundation for why I give and the Jewish community is so important to me, I look to The Jewish Federation to guide me to where the need is greatest and how I can make the biggest impact locally, nationally, and globally with each donation.
“I’m most passionate about the culture of learning in our Jewish community. Whether it’s studying Torah, reading about the history of the Jewish people, or learning about the lives of influential Jews, there’s seemingly no end to the learning available to me.”
Steve’s own Jewish journey began through a sense of curiosity as well. In his late 20s, Steve, who did not grow up Jewish but had Jewish relatives, started to learn more about Judaism. The more he explored the religion and culture, the more he realized he connected to it, saying he “felt at home, spiritually.” He decided to convert, and attended a beit din (literally, Rabbinic Court; in conversion, a ceremony where the convert-to-be answers a series of questions) and mikvah (Jewish ritual bath). His conversion was made easier by the support of his family, as well as his Jewish relatives.
His conversion has shaped his perspective on philanthropy – especially through the lenses of tzedakah (charitable giving) and tikkun olam (repairing the world).
“Converting to Judaism has made me more conscious of the importance of charitable giving and my responsibility to repair the world,” Steve says.
“Since my Jewish faith is a foundation for why I give and the Jewish community is so important to me, I look to The Jewish Federation to guide me to where the need is greatest and how I can make the biggest impact locally, nationally, and globally with each donation.”
Steve got involved with Federation on the recommendation of a friend, and quickly joined Federation’s Ben Gurion Society. He also credits the larger DC-area Jewish landscape, including Sixth & I, as well as Adas Israel, for deepening his connection to and love of Judaism.
As far as his wish for our Jewish community’s future, Steve hopes that it remains steadfast, even in the midst of growing intolerance.
“I hope we never lose our resilience, but I also hope we need not exercise our resilience as often as we’ve had to. While the security of our Jewish community is increasingly at risk, it would be nice to have some peace so we can rest and replenish our resilience.”