Young Leadership Spotlight: Mitch M.

Young Leadership Spotlight: Mitch M.

How did you first get involved with Young Leadership?

I first got involved with Federation’s Young Leadership division after going on a DC Community Birthright Israel trip in 2011. While writing a note to put in the Western Wall, I realized that being an active participant in the Jewish community was important to me, and I’ve made it a priority ever since. When I returned from that trip, I got involved with NEXT DC, the DC-area Birthright alumni network. I went onthe NEXT DC Alumni Leadership Mission to Israel in 2012, served on the NEXT DC committee, and took part in Federation’s ConnectGens Fellowship for aspiring social entrepreneurs. For the past two years I’ve served on the Young Leadership Boad as Vice Chair for Leadership & Education.

What was your experience like as a ConnectGens Fellow?

Being a ConnectGens Fellow was an incredible experience to be able to think creatively about ways to expand and improve the DC Jewish community. Even though not all of our projects came to fruition, mine included, the way it trained me to think has positively affected my work since then. Also, several of the projects have been successful, like Leveling the Playing Field and Tribelle, and have done some really outstanding work.

What do you like most about the DC Jewish community?

I like how diverse yet inclusive it is. There are so many different kinds of Jews from all across the world that come to live in DC. Some are more religious, some are less. Some are focused on service projects, some have more educational interests and some care more about social events. No matter who they are or what groups they are active with, everyone gets along and works together.

Now through June 1st, Federation launched a new marketing campaign called 90 Days of Impact that highlights the impact Federation makes locally, in Israel and around the world.

What inspires you to be involved and donate to Federation?

I’m inspired by all of the different efforts I’ve personally witnessed Federation support. In Israel, I saw how Federation supports underprivileged Ethiopian and Russian immigrants, and resource-strapped female entrepreneurs. Here in the U.S., there are so many groups that benefit from Federation’s support, from providing programming for young families through PJ Library® to funding for senior homes and supporting Holocaust survivors, and everything in between. I’m most appreciative of all the efforts to provide young adults in the DC area positive Jewish experiences, letting us find our paths to build our Jewish lives the way that we want to.

Who is your Jewish role model and why?

I can’t say I have a Jewish role model off hand. Mel Brooks is one of my favorite Jews though. I LOVE his movies. He is also so obviously Jewish, without explicitly saying it. He has done a wonderful job of making Judaism and Jewish humor mainstream.

What is your favorite Jewish food?

I love cooking, so whatever food I can learn to make myself. Hummus has become one of my specialties; I’ve been making that for years. After a lot of trials and tribulations, it’s at the point where it consistently turns out well. Also, since it’s almost Passover, charoset is one of my favorites. There are so many different ways to make it, and they’re all addictive.

What are you most excited for this spring?

I recently got married, so I’m looking forward to spending more time with my wife without having to plan for a wedding. I’m also excited to watch baseball, since I’m a Nationals season ticket holder, and to play my 8th season of JCC softball (6th as a captain).