Young Leadership Spotlight: Andrew F.

How did you get involved with Young Leadership?

I’d been engaged in different ways with a few partner organizations before, but really got directly involved with YL through my brother. Then my roommate, Matthew was helping recruit for the Inaugural Impact DC in 2011 and wanted me to go with him. Hesitant at first, he offered to cover my gift and left me with just the couvert – and a really fun time! I ended up serving as the Impact DC Co-Chair the following year, and have been involved with different Federation committees and events since. I guess you could say I’m the gift [from my brother] that keeps on giving!

What’s a fun fact we should know about you?

I cracked my head open as a child. Twice. In my sleep. And I’m told I’ve been just as hard-headed ever since.

What is your favorite Jewish food?

That’s easy: matzoh ball soup…assuming, of course, that it’s my mom’s.

Who is your biggest Jewish role model and WHY?

I have a lot of role models, but since we just recently passed the 71st anniversary of when Anne Frank was captured, she’s as good of a Jewish role model for me as any. Imagine if your private thoughts – written into your teenage diary – were published for the world to see? It’s the essence of character being what you do when you don’t think anyone’s there. Hers is heroism in its purest form – without title or tenure or the slightest idea that she’d unknowingly become the voice of six million Holocaust victims. In being ordinary, she demonstrated something extraordinary that’s capable in all of us.

What do you love most about DC’s Jewish community?

I’m so fortunate to have been born and raised in our community by parents who also grew up here, to have stayed here for college (Go Terps!) and to have a big family who all live here. Despite how big it may get, the best part of our community is how small and close-knit it seems. How often I randomly meet someone whose family I know or who knows my family. I think that’s why we do such an admirable job of looking after each other as a community, and I want to help make sure that never changes.

What is one piece of advice you like to live by?

I’ve always had my sights set on changing the world, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to better understand “the world” in more of a Jewish context – how one person represents an entire world. So I try to make a positive impact on the world at every opportunity – one person, one community, one goodwill gesture at a time. In that sense, changing the world isn’t a mountain too daunting to endeavor; it’s a hurdle too modest to avoid.

Tell us about your role as the Grand Slam Sunday co-chair? What is this event going to be like?

I actually just got back from Nats Park with my fellow co-chair, Phil, the Federation team, and the Nationals staff to iron out some final details for August 30th. We have dozens of different groups and organizations signed up, exciting events and activities planned and a memorable day in store for everyone. Starting with our YL tailgate before the game, it’s going to be an awesome time you don’t want to miss. Grand Slam Sunday is going to be an amazing way to not just feel like a close-knit community within the larger community but to actually be one, and I hope you’re there with us to experience it!

 Andrew F. and Phil