Meet Jewish Person of the Week – Jeremy Elkins
Let’s Meet Jewish Person of the Week – Jeremy Elkins
Before ChiTribe ever existed, Jeremy Elkins recognized there was a problem and created a Facebook group and calendar to make it easier for Jews in Chicago to find their Tribe. Learn more about Jeremy Elkins and his story!
Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
I grew up in Northbrook and I live in River North now.
What did you do Jewish growing up?
Synagogue: Moriah Congregation in Deerfield
Middle School: Solomon Schechter Day School
High School: Ida Crown Jewish Academy
Camp: Camp Moshava in Wild Rose, WI
Gap Year: Yeshiva Lev HaTorah in Israel
College: Brandeis University. I studied business and I was super involved with BOO, the Brandeis Orthodox Organization.
What do you do Jewish now?
I have been serving on the Young Leadership Division of JUF for four years, and I am involved with AIPAC, Base Hillel, Chabad, and much more. Sometimes, I go to Anshe Sholom in Lakeview for Shabbat services.
What do you do for work?
I’m in Sales at ADP, working with mid-market organizations, helping to control costs, streamline HR processes, and attract and retain top talent.
What are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about Judaism, playing matchmaker (I have 2 couples under my belt…mazals!), spending qualify time with my family, and Chicago architecture.
Tell us the story of “Jeremy’s friends who want to get more involved with Jewish Chicago”
I wanted to make it easier for people to find out about and go to Jewish events. I went to as many Jewish events as possible to make friends and expand my network. Since I went to so many events, I was getting lots of emails and Facebook invitations for events, so I was really made aware of most Jewish events happening in Chicago. My friends were not.
Phase 1 A Piece of Paper
I started with a piece of paper–writing down the names of people who wanted to join me if I went to an event. Before long, I had 20+ names on the paper and it was taking too long to invite each person to each event.
Phase 2 Facebook Group December 11 2016
At the end of 2016, I created a Facebook group so that I could simply invite the group to each event, turning manually typing 20 names into a couple of clicks, inviting the whole group at once. But then of course Facebook cracked down on how many people you could invite to an event…
Current members: 369
Phase 3 Public Google Calendar
To solve the Facebook invite issue, I was inspired by a Google called the “Chicago Summer Calendar” that detailed every event happening in Chicago in the Summer. Everything was all in one place- a central calendar interface. I created a gmail specifically for a new Jewish central calendar called firstname.lastname@example.org. The way it works is that any organization with a google calendar can simply invite the email address to their event, and the event will show up on a public calendar. I spread the word about the public calendar, and it was born!
ChiTribe: We want take a moment to thank Jeremy for recognizing that there is problem in Jewish Chicago and deciding to make a difference. Thank you for making it easier for people to get more involved, you inspired us. Thank you for being the difference you want to see in the world, Jeremy!
What is your favorite Chicago kosher food place?
Main Pizza Chalavi in West Rodgers Park…tied with my wife’s cooking 🙂
What is your favorite way to spend shabbat?
With my wonderful wife, Hillary, and hosting friends around our stunning Shabbos table in our River North condo.
What do you do for fun/to relax?
Soaking in the stunning architecture of Chicago and learning about their history and then sharing that information with my friends, and spending time with my wife and our adorable dog, Charlie.
Top three things on your Chicago bucket list?
- Give the Chicago architecture boar tour
- Get an in-depth tour of Chicago’s South Side and West Side synagogues
- Learn more about the history of the building that I live in, built in 1888
What is your favorite Jewish Chicago event?
LEADS–through the Young Leadership Division of the JUF
Now complete the phrase: When the tribe gathers…Jeremy’s there.