Let’s meet Jewish Person of the Week – Liza Moskowitz
Where did you grow up?
I am originally from a suburb of Dallas and proud! In fact, when I first moved to Chicago I walked into Brown Elephant to furnish my apartment and I walked out with a fixture of my home state, Texas, for $3.
Dallas is the buckle of the bible belt (insert the thesis for my Bat Mitzvah here), but I’m fortunate that my parents immersed me in the Jewish community. For synagogue, my family went to Temple Emanu El and during the summers I went to Greene Family camp, which is a URJ camp down south.
By the time I got to high school, my Jewish identity was a priority to me. I joined NFTY in high school and served in several leadership roles, including regional President of the Texas Oklahoma Region and as the Programming Vice President on the NFTY North American Board.
Where did you go to school?
I enjoy embracing the new so my family joked I would run far, far away from Texas for a few years. I ran SO far that I ended up at Boston University!
When I was at BU, I was surrounded by a giant Jewish population. The Hillel community wasn’t a huge part of my life because Jewish community was accessible in every class and club imaginable. Not to mention I was serving on NFTY North American Board during my entire freshman year. I was introduced to Kutz Camp, a URJ summer camp with a focused on developing Jewish teen leaders, around the same time and that community held onto my heart.
During the school year, I was hyper involved in my sorority,Gamma Phi Beta. I quickly fell in love with the peer to peer, female led group and ended up working for them after school. I spent a semester at both the University of Michigan and Washington University in St. Louis. to start new Gamma Phi chapters on these campuses. That is when I became a Midwest maven!
What do you do for work?
What do you do Jewish now?
Jewishly, I am a Moishe House Without Walls host myself because creating my own micro-community is important to me. It allows me to explore my adult Judaism with my friends and I have been able to host a variety of programs! I have hosted a Hanukkah party in December where we collected canned foods to donate to Lakeview Pantry. Back in April, I hosted a Passover Seder for Jewish transplants to Chicago who did not have a seder of their own.
What do you do for fun?
I love working out and I love moving! I am a big advocate for Pure Barre and I actually work at the front desk on weekends.
I am also part of the Chicago Endurance Sport Running Club, where I was a mentor for our 5k/10k runners this season. This passion for running connected me to Girls on the Run Chicago.
Girls on the Run Chicago is an after-school activity for 3rd to 8th grade girls. It is all about building the social, mental and physical resiliency of young girls.
The program is through the context of a 5k. At the end of the season there is a huge community wide 5k race. The girls have running buddies, they get medals and my favorite part is there is a volunteer at each race whose role is to finish last.
I am currently on the planning committee and collecting auction items for the Girls on the Run Chicago fundraiser happening this fall. The event is called the Run Like a Girl Soiree on November 9th which raises more than $100,000 to go towards scholarships and costs for Girls on the Run.
Birthright Registration for Winter is open now, tell us about your Birthright trip.
While I didn’t go on Birthright, I have been to Israel with my family on a congregational trip when I was in the ninth grade, in 2008. My brother was Bar Mitzvah’ed in Israel on that trip. (Mazel tov!) I went on NFTY in Israel in 2009.
Where did you spend High Holidays –
What about Traditions?
My rabbi growing up is a celebrity in the Jewish world, he is the president of the CCAR! I thought everyone had a rockstar rabbi growing up, but it wasn’t until later in life I really appreciated this unique connection. My parents would have us pay attention when we were at services by putting our other books down and listen to the rabbi. To this day I look for the script of the sermon that my congregation releases. I always think of the High Holidays as tent-pole, grounding pieces and I enjoy the intention setting aspect of the sermons.
Who do you want to shout-out?
Now finish this statement, When the tribe gathers…passion grows exponentially.