What are your hobbies? I love being outside, traveling, hiking with my dog, Bailey, cooking and baking, and of course, eating.
What one Jewish experience of yours stands out over others? I’ve had so many incredible Jewish experiences, but the one that stands out is working as the director of youth engagement at The Temple (Tifereth Israel, previous position). Throughout my four years, I built so many amazing relationships with teens and families and it felt like such an honor to help shape and guide our temple youth and watch them really find their own Jewish identities.
Why did you choose Cleveland? Cleveland is home. My family is here and it’s a great Jewish community. I’ve always known that this is where I wanted to live, work and raise a family.
If you were the mayor of Cleveland, what would be your highest priority? At this juncture, I would put our resources toward developing community policing programs.
Do you have an Israel experience? I am fortunate to have many wonderful Israel experiences. My favorite would be staffing the Camp Wise Staff in Training Israel Trip in 2017. Chaperoning a group of 15 and 16 year olds is no easy feat, but exploring Israel with them was so amazing and fun and completely exhausting.
What role does Judaism play in your everyday life? Judaism is at the core of who I am. Being Jewish makes me feel like I’m connected to something bigger than myself.
Who are your mentors? Without questions, my parents. They have always been my loudest cheerleaders and biggest advocates. They have supported and continue to support me in everything I do. They have taught me that it is OK to make mistakes, but your strength and character come from having the courage to face them and move forward.
What Jewish youth groups were you involved in? I was very active in BBYO. Chaia BBG No. 220 is where I met my best friends to this day.
What was your first reaction when you learned you were selected as a 12 Under 36 honoree? I just felt incredibly honored to have been chosen as a 12 Under 36 honoree.
What did you want to be when you “grew up”? When I was really young. I wanted to be a lawyer because I loved to argue.
Where was your bat mitzvah? Park Synagogue in 2004.
What name do you have painted on your dream boat you dock at the yacht club in Lake Erie? The Bailey
You’re a professional athlete and just sign your first major contract. What’s the first big expenditure you make? I would take my family on an extravagant vacation.
What is your biggest pet peeve? People chewing with their mouth open.
Meet the honorees
Doug, 33, is a member of Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple and resides in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood.
Joseph (Yoey), 29, is a member of Young Israel of Greater Cleveland and Green Road Synagogue and resides in Beachwood.
Stanislav, 35, is a member of the Chabad Jewish Center of Solon and resides in Beachwood.
Rachel, 30, is a member of B’nai Jeshurun Congregation and resides in Cleveland Heights.