Let’s Meet Jewish Person of the Week – Josh Weitzel
Josh is involved with the Last Whispers project through the Selfhelp Home to continue the story of Holocaust survivors and their families. Josh’s grandparents grew up in Germany during the rise of the Nazis. Learn more and sign up for a 20 minute interview at lastwhispersproject.org.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Wilmette, IL and I currently live in Lincoln Park.
What did you do Jewish growing up?
As a kid, I spent lots of time doing activities at my synagogue. When I got to high school, I spent most of my time outside of class with my BBYO chapter (shoutout to Haganah AZA #2379!)
Where did you go to school?
I went to New Trier High School and spent four years at Columbia College in Chicago.
What do you do for work?
I currently work at Yellow Box Studios in Lakeview where I help to create video content for clients.
What do you do for fun/to relax?
I love to create short films with friends, even though it is part of my job! I also always enjoy reading a good book.
What do you do Jewish now?
The most Jewish things I do now are celebrating the holidays with my family – my parents, sister, and grandmother.
Tell us more about Last Whisphers and how we can get involved?
Last Whispers is a project designed by The Selfhelp Home to continue the story of Holocaust survivors and their families. Survivors themselves or their descendants can come in and tell their stories to a video crew. My grandparents grew up in Germany during the rise of the Nazis, and I’m eternally grateful that they were both able to escape before things escalated. You can learn more and sign up for a 20 minute interview at lastwhispersproject.org.
Before my grandfather passed away, he used to tell me all kinds of stories from growing up in Germany and what it was like to come here and start his own business. He was the epitome of the American Dream. I deeply miss listening to him tell his stories.
What is your favorite way to spend shabbat?
Honestly, spending Shabbat with friends and family is something I look forward to all week.
Top three things on your Chicago bucket list?
I actually managed to complete that bucket list when I was in college. But I have always wanted to sit court-side at a Bulls game… but maybe when they’re playing a bit better.
What is your favorite Jewish Chicago event?
The Chicago Jewish Film Festival!
What is your favorite Chicago food dish?
BopNgrill is my favorite place to eat in Chicago. The best burgers in the city.
When the tribe gathers…Don’t forget to bring bagels.
“To commemorate Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, The Selfhelp Home is proud to announce that it will be hosting a community wide program titled Last Whispers: Our Holocaust Stories on June 30th from 10AM to 4PM. Free and open to the public, video production crews will be onsite to capture the more personal, family-oriented stories of aging Chicago-area Jewish Holocaust survivors and refugees, and will be releasing the interviews to all participating families.”