Ezra Schwartz is a 24-year-old software developer living in the heart of DC. Originally from Baltimore, he graduated from the University of Maryland in 2016 and moved to the nation’s capital later that summer. In his free time, Ezra can be found testing his knowledge at local trivia, sporting spiffy bow ties around Kesher Israel, or catching the latest flicks at the movies.
1.) What’s the deal with the bow ties?
I learned how to tie them for my brother’s wedding, and started wearing them more regularly a year or two ago. I feel like bow ties make you stand out in a good way. They’re fun, stylish, and they tell people that you’re not afraid to be different. Plus, they don’t get in your food, like neckties do.
2.)Of the concerts you have attended, which is your favorite?
When I was 16, my brothers, sister in-law, and I wanted to go see Pearl Jam play at Madison Square Garden (it was my fourth time seeing them), but the concert happened to be immediately after Shavuot ended. We were staying in Washington Heights for the holiday, and if we would have taken a cab or the subway after the holiday, we likely would have missed part of the concert. So, we decided to walk seven-and-a-half miles from Washington Heights to Madison Square Garden on Shavuot so we could get there on time. We unfortunately missed The Black Keys, who opened the show, but we got there just in time for Pearl Jam. It was a phenomenal show, so it was definitely worth it.
The first concert I ever attended was pretty special, too. It was also Pearl Jam, I was 12 years old, and it was the only time my three siblings and I were all at a concert together. Definitely one of the most memorable moments of my life
3.) It’s the golden age of television. In your opinion, what are some standouts?
“The Leftovers,” which recently wrapped up its third and final season, is one of the best shows in recent years. Its complex and flawed characters, fleshed-out world, and balance between darkness and humor are unparalleled in modern television. It’s a crazy, emotional, and surreal show that isn’t afraid to take risks or bring up hard questions about love, life, and loss. “The Americans,”“Better Call Saul,”“Fargo,”“Mr. Robot,” and “Westworld” are also top-notch.
4.) You can save the life of any character from any show or movie that dies. Who do you save?
**Spoiler alert for “Stranger Things” season 2**
If you've watched “Stranger Things” season 2, you probably know who I’m talking about. He was the nicest guy in the world and a true superhero and he didn’t deserve his untimely and gruesome death. #JusticeForBob
5.) What are you most likely to be famous for?
My friends and I traveled to Columbus, Ohio, in 2015 to see Maryland play in the March Madness tournament. (Go Terps!) During the games, we danced like crazy with some very well-coordinated routines and ended up on the jumbotron several times. The crowd loved us. As we walked around the arena after the games, people would stop us to mention how much they enjoyed our dancing. Some radio announcer actually dubbed us “The Dancing Yarmulkes” and interviewed us before one of the games. So, for a few brief moments, in a specific area of Columbus, I was kinda famous.
6.) Do you have a doppelgänger?
Actually, I do. I happen to bear an uncanny resemblance to Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. Also, my dad, but I guess that’s to be expected.
7.) What would you do all day if money were no object?
I’d watch every movie and TV show ever created. When I’m done with that, I’d probably travel all across the world.
8.) Have you had any profound religious experiences?
I heard a bat kol (heavenly voice) during my gap year at a yeshiva in Israel. My friends and I were sitting on the beach in Tel Aviv one evening, and the tide was slowly ebbing and flowing, getting closer and closer to us with each cycle. We figured that even though the water was inching nearer every minute, it was never going to reach us. We were wrong. As a powerful wave of water starting racing towards us, we heard a voice shout “This one’s real, boys!” which we took as our cue to pick up our belongings seconds before the tide washed around our feet. As we left the beach, we asked each other who yelled out the warning, but nobody took credit. Thus, we concluded it must have been an angel preventing a disaster.
9.) What advice would you give yourself five years ago?
“Get out of bed, you lazy bum, and go to class! Your GPA is pretty important, so don’t mess this up.” Also, I’d tell myself future sports scores so I could win a lot of money betting on games, a la “Back to the Future Part II.”