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I love telling my story because it’s a good one. For the long version we’ll have to get coffee one day. But for now, here are the basics. I grew up in downtown Chicago, specifically in Lincoln Park and the Gold Coast. If you know Chicago, you know that's pretty dope. My parents established a Chabad, Jewish Community, in 1987 and I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t excited to open one of my own. I was a curious and independent teenager and when the time came, I insisted on going to a yeshiva, rabbinical school, in France. Then came the yeshivas in Argentina, Los Angeles, and Brooklyn. The most exciting and rewarding adventure was Singapore. That's where I became a rabbi and in many respects an adult. I got married about a year later and then moved to Chicago to establish the Chabad House of my dreams. And I did. 

Together with the most beautiful people I know, we created what is today Chabad of Lincoln Park and Chabad at DePaul University. During that time I led five Birthright trips and became a Birthright Israel Fellow. I was also blessed with the most precious gift of all, my son, Menny. A little while later his mom and I got divorced and they moved to Montreal. I followed soon after, leaving my community in the trusted hands of my brother and his family. 


This is when things get interesting.


I had a rare opportunity to design my life as I saw fit. To explore the heck out of who I am and the world I live in. I started with coffee, cause who wouldn’t? I became a purveyor of specialty coffee in Montreal, Toronto, and Brooklyn. And then I fell in love with Brooklyn. The music, the art, the creativity, the non-binary community structures, the freaking awesome people. And I discovered a part of myself that was always bubbling at the surface but was never nurtured. That I am an artist, a creator. There, I said it. 

I continued to help communities by joining Charidy, a crowdfunding company for non-profits. Then I took a position as Development Director at Lamplighters Yeshivah, an innovative Montessori school in Brooklyn. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I still had so much to contribute. As a writer, as a creative, as an entrepreneur and as a community builder. So here I am, telling you my story. And who knows, maybe you and I will create magic together.

Photo Credit: Shaina Benhiyoun


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