Let’s Meet Jewish Person Of The Week – Julia Logan
Where did you grow up?
Northern ‘burbs (Winnetka)
Where did you go to school?
I attended St. Lawrence University, a small liberal arts college in upstate New York for undergrad and received my Master’s of Science in Education from Indiana University.
What did you do Jewish growing up?
I attended many a bat and bar mitzvah, but I wasn’t raised in a Jewish household. My mother is Jewish but also didn’t grow up in a practicing household. I had always felt very connected culturally to my Jewish heritage and family but didn’t come into my own with Jewish practice until adulthood.
What was it like living in rural Indiana and now a robust Jewish community?
I was living in rural Indiana because I was working for a small, Quaker college – Earlham College. There wasn’t a large Jewish student population and the town didn’t have many Jews, either. This was a time that I was seeking out a Jewish spiritual community, but one of the closest cities where I could do that, Cincinnati, was an hour away. A few times during my tenure in Indiana, I went to synagogue with other Jewish faculty members, but it was a challenge to develop that community living so far away and traveling so much with work.
What do you do now?
Now, in adulthood, I’ve deeply connected with my practice. I am a member at Temple Sholom in Lakeview and am on the board of their 20’s and 30’s group, Makom Chicago. On Fridays, you can find me hosting or attending a Shabbat dinner, at services, or taking some time for myself to unwind after a busy week.
What do you do for work?
I am the new Chicago Field Manager at OneTable. I support folks in Chicago, as well as other cities throughout the Midwest, to end their week with intention. It is a true joy to connect with our hosts and guests to help them create a unique Shabbat experience, explore Judaism and Jewish practice, and make the most of their Friday nights in a way that is authentic to them.
Tell us more about your love for Shabbat?
I truly love Shabbat. The fact that we, as Jews, get a holy day every week (!) to pause, slow down, take a deep, intentional, slowing down breath is amazing. I value the opportunity to break bread and open a good bottle of wine with friends, old and new, sharing in tradition and creating new traditions as well.
What have you done throughout your career?
I have spent my entire career working for non-profits. Starting out in education and higher education, and then shifting to “the other side of the desk” working for college access and job training nonprofits. When I moved back to Chicago (from rural Indiana) in 2016, I sought out opportunities to join the Jewish community. This meant going to educational sessions like Taste of Judaism that the Union for Reform Judaism holds at Temple Sholom and there, I found a wonderful group of folks and clergy to help guide me on this Jewish journey.
How did you end up in your current role?
It probably wouldn’t come as a surprise to folks who have attended a OneTable dinner, but I was able to connect with and understand my own Jewish lens at a OneTable dinner I was invited to by a stranger after a Taste of Judaism class. After reading more about OneTable, I remember thinking to myself that this was a truly amazing organization that I would love to work for one day. Fast forward 3.5 years, I get an email from Marissa Freeman announcing her transition to the development team and that OneTable was hiring!
What is your favorite way to spend Shabbat?
My favorite way to spend Shabbat is around my dinner table with friends, drinking wine, eating good food, singing, laughing, and sharing our weeks with one another.
What do you do for fun/to relax?
I compete in triathlons, so training takes up a lot of my time January – August. During those months, you can catch me swimming, biking, or running and/or eating lots of challah to fuel all of those activities. Well, let’s be honest, you can always find me eating challah. Speaking of challah…I love to bake challah. I find it a relaxing way to wrap up my week, taking time and the intention to slow down while preparing it.
What is your favorite hidden gem in Chicago?
Not so hidden, but often underrated: I love to use my Art Institute of Chicago membership to just go visit ONE painting or ONE piece in the museum. I might go for 20 minutes, sit in front of the Chagall windows or enjoy the transition colors of the season in Monet’s Stacks of Wheat. It’s hard to bite off an entire museum in one day and since we have these amazing public resources available to us, why not visit one painting at a time and really soak it all in? (Plus, it’s fun people watching!)
Top three things on your Chicago bucket list?
Musical Mondays at Sidetrack. Does it make me a terrible person I have yet to go?! I live close by and love musicals…
Shuffle boarding at Royal Palms in Chicago
Spend some time listening to music or going to a show at The Green Mill
When the Tribe Gathers…Magic Happens.