Introducing Valerie Bluestein

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Interviewed by Rachel Kohn

Valerie Bluestein is a native Washingtonian: She was born in Georgetown, grew up in Bethesda, received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, and currently resides near Logan Circle with her husband, Max. In addition to her job as a realtor with the Heller Coley Reed team of Long and Foster Real Estate, Inc., she works as the marketing and events coordinator for 2239, Washington Hebrew Congregation’s young professional group.

Introducing Victor Seletsky

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Victor Seletsky, 37, who also goes by his Hebrew name Gavriel, is an enthusiast. He’s enthusiastic about learning Torah, regularly attending multiple shiurim (classes) per week; he pursues opportunities to help others and enjoys building genuine connections with new people; and he loves his work as a software developer. Learn more about this Kiev-born resident of Silver Spring, Maryland, below.

Introducing Yisroel Juskowicz

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Although he works full time as a physical therapist, Baltimore native Yisroel Juskowicz feels his greatest strength lies in his creativity in music, art, and writing.

Introducing Ari Givner

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Ari Givner was born and raised in Miami to a Cuban-Colombian Jewish family. After high school, he spent a year in Israel at Bar Ilan University’s Israel Experience Program. He currently lives in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of DC, and is working as a user-experience designer at Eagle Technologies, though he will soon be moving on to a job as a product designer at Cvent.

Introducing Harvey Kaplan

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Harvey Kaplan, 26, grew up near Chicago and currently lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. He earned a degree in physics from Purdue University before moving to Maryland for grad school. (Fun fact: Harvey played saxophone in the Purdue Jazz Band.)

Introducing: Michael Alan Spencer

Written by Batya H. Carl on . Posted in Young Professionals Spotlight

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In life, Michael Alan Spencer always throws caution to the wind, the rain, and the snow. You would know that if you saw his original version of the paragraph below, which was written in the style of the Old Spice Guy and included references to stallions and various stage directions. (Ed. note: Sorry Michael.)

Introducing Yaffa Wagschal

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Originally from Bethesda, Maryland, Yaffa Wagschal is 32 years old and loves to travel: If money was no object, she said, she would wander in countries like Peru and Japan, “talk to local people, learn their stories to experience what it’s like to live in those places through their eyes.”

Introducing Jackie Feldman

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A Miami transplant with a strong Latina Jewish identity, Jackie Feldman is the founder of Sephardic Jews in DC, a group that hosts events for young professionals in the Greater Washington area to celebrate Sephardic culture, food, religious tradition, and customs. She is also the author of the food blog “Healthy Sephardic Cooking” and teaches classes on both Sephardic cuisine and history/culture in DC. Jackie holds leadership positions on the boards of American Friends of Lubavitch (Chabad) and JIMENA, and works closely with many Jewish institutions to create unique Sephardic programming and educational events.

Introducing Atara Mayer

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Atara Mayer, 31, was born in New York and raised in Jerusalem. Following graduation from the University of Maryland, College Park, she served in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as a basic training commander in the Education Corps. Now back stateside and living it up in Silver Spring, Maryland, Atara loves fireworks, prefers chewy cookies to crunchy ones, and has her watch and her phone set to military time.

Introducing Gabrielle Barr

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Hailing from Virginia Beach, Virginia, Gabrielle resides in Washington, D.C., where she is pursuing an associate fellowship program at the National Library of Medicine. She attended Johns Hopkins as an undergraduate and then went onto University of Michigan to study archives and records management.

Introducing Becca Federman

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Becca Federman is originally from Toledo, Ohio, but currently resides in Washington, D.C., where she graduated from George Washington University with a concentration in Middle East studies.