Yoni Razin is 25 years old and was born and raised in West Philadelphia. He graduated from University of Maryland with degrees in history and rhetoric. He has lived in the Arlington Moishe House for the past year and a half. He started doing freelance graphic and web design work on the side a couple of years ago, and is now working as a branding and business development consultant.
1. What do you like about your hometown?
I grew up in Philadelphia — the actual city, not the suburbs. The place has such great culture and history about it. I love walking around the old parts of town near Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.
2. Describe your first trip to Israel.
We took a family trip when I was young. Along with my parents and brother, we went to all the main touristy spots. I remember covering myself up in mud at the dead sea, exploring the pools of Ein Gedi, eating falafel on the street, and going to the Kotel (Western Wall). The first half of the trip was great, the second not as much. I got dreadfully sick from dehydration and spent a good part of the trip bedridden and bored in the hotel.
3. What is your favorite childhood memory?
Finger painting and making banana peanut butter chocolate chip boats with my old babysitter. She was this wonderfully sweet lady in her late 70s who lived in our neighborhood. She was like a third grandmother to me and my brother growing up.
4. What is your favorite Jewish holiday?
Passover. I know most people hate Passover, but I love it! My family means everything to me, and every Passover we all go stay at my grandparents’ house in Fairfax, Virginia. It’s the one time every year I know I can completely detach myself from the rest of life and just enjoy time with my family.
5. Tell us about your favorite Moishe House event that you created.
My favorite Moishe House event was a Star Wars marathon we hosted the day before Episode VII came out. We started at 8 a.m. and watched all the movies back-to-back and ended around 11p.m. More and more people just kept showing up. We ran out of seats and had to keep ordering more pizzas. Pizza and Star Wars, what’s not to love!
6. Two truths and a lie. Go!
I was interviewed on the news once.
I have won an art contest.
I lived in Hawaii for a year.
7. What’s next on your Netflix queue?
As far as TV shows go, I just finished Season 2 of Master of None and can’t wait for the newest season of House of Cards to be released. As for movies, I think Finding Dory is the next film on my list.
8. Who was your first crush?
Well, apparently in pre-K I had a fake wedding and married a classmate of mine, but I don’t think you can really count that as a crush. I’d have to say it was Sarah from middle school. We were best friends for a while and even dated a bit senior year of high school. She was mad at me when someone else asked her to prom before I could. She never let me forget it.
9. What is the best date you have taken someone on?
Dim Sum in Chinatown and sharing ice cream on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial at night. It wasn’t the most lavish or romantic date or the craziest adventure, but it was amazing because of how simple and spontaneous it was.
10. What is your favorite app?
Interviewed by Batya H. Carl