Young Leadership Spotlight: Courtney and Adam

Young Leadership Spotlight: Courtney and Adam

How did you two meet?

A:  I was a host during Reverse Mifgash and volunteered to work registration during one of the events.  I noticed she laughed at my nerdy wit and her smile was so lovable.  So when registration closed, I told her I really enjoyed meeting her and would like to see her again.  She agreed to the idea and gave me her number.

C:  I was working the registration table for an event at the museum where I work, and he volunteered to work it as well. I guess he thought I was cute and by the end of the night we had exchanged numbers to meet up again. The rest, as they say, is history!

How did you get involved with Federation’s Young Leadership?

A:  Took a NEXT DC class with the encouragement of a friend, which led to a NEXT DC opportunity with the Jewish Social Service Agency board, which then led to volunteering with the Reverse Mifgash committee.

C:  I gave Adam my number. The rest is all a blur!

Tell us about your experience hosting and participating in Federation’s Reverse Mifgash? 

A:  Everything! Reverse Mifgash is awesome!  The more events I attended and the more I became involved with the program, the more people I met and the more fun I had.  Hosting was easy, even with only a couch to spare in past years.  Clinking glasses over aged scotch, walking a marathon to visit the monuments while observing shomer Shabbat, and sharing the best of the iconic late-night food DC has to offer (think jumbo slice and chili bowls) were all part of the experience.  In past years, the committee was also fun as we worked together to determine the best places and events to share with our Israeli friends in 10 days.  The only way to go wrong with Reverse Mifgash is to miss it!

C:  I wasn’t sure what to expect heading into it, but I knew it was something that Adam wanted to do so we agreed to open our home. We hosted Ohad and immediately hit it off as though we had all been longtime friends. Participating in Reverse Mifgash was the most connected that I have ever felt to the community. Seeing DC through the eyes of the Israelis was also a wonderful experience since I don’t think those of us who live in the city really stop that often to appreciate what we have around us, and it’s always special to rediscover your own home. Especially in a packed Jumbo Slice at 3:00 in the morning. The whole experience really opened my mind and left a lasting impact that I am extremely grateful for. I’m also thrilled I was able to hone my karaoke skills…

Do you have a favorite memory from Reverse Mifgash?

Too many wonderful memories to have a favorite!  Video chatting with Ohad’s family (and dog, Mario!), a late night karaoke session (Matan’s rendition of We Will Rock You was epic!), and Havdalah at the Lincoln Memorial were all very special in their own ways.  Helping Ohad conduct family research on documents, photos, and information about his relatives affected by the Holocaust was also a deeply moving experience.

What do you most love most about the DC Jewish community?

We love how welcoming and accepting the community has been and how easy it is to connect and engage as much or as little as we are able.  Some of our closest DC friendships have formed from the community connection, and we appreciate knowing that the community is always there for support.

Given your diverse backgrounds, which Jewish traditions do you like to celebrate together the most?

We love to celebrate Jewish food traditions (kugels, blintzes, latkes…)!  One of us cooks (guess who), with a little help from the other, and all of our friends eat!  More recently, we started honoring the more contemplative traditions such as Yom Kippur fasting and Passover without chametz.  We enjoy exploring old and new traditions to learn about which ones are most meaningful to us.

What is on your bucket list of things to do together in the future?

A:  We have more of a barrel of things to do than a bucket… too many to name!  Within the next year, we are headed to Mt. Rainier, Boston, Shenandoah, and Harry Potter World.  Longer term…

C:  Visit Israel and learn how to make challah from scratch!

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

A:  Where there is a will, there is a way.

C:  Everything happens for a reason. (Why else would I dive into a job with a five-hour round trip commute if it weren’t so that I could one day meet Adam and now be here answering these questions?!)