Editor’s Note: Have you ever wondered what International Religion/Education Vice President Ethan Rogers does when he’s not leading USYers in thoughtful prayer, or what he thinks about when he’s not hours deep into a Torah study session? Well now, you, yes you reading this, get the chance to learn about Ethan in our next installment of Get To Know Your IEB!
Name, region, chapter, position, and any other information you would like to share: Shalom USY! My name is Ethan Ross Rogers, or אליעזר ראובן רוג’רס, and I am your 2020 International Religion/Education Vice President. I hail from Midway Jewish Center (MUSY) in the mighty METNY region. My favorite kitchen utensil is a whisk.
Favorite Food: My favorite food is definitely ice cream. For many years, it has been a tradition in my family to eat Carvel ice cream every Wednesday night, and it is always a highlight of my week.
Favorite convention: My favorite convention was definitely METNY Encampment 2019. METNY puts on an awesome Encampment every year, whether it’s Maccabiah, Bible Bowl, or just incredible programs throughout the week. I also had the best bunk (shoutout to B11!!) and we had so much fun bonding and hanging out!
What was your inspiration to run for your board position on the international executive board? I am passionate about the development of our USYers Jewish identities, but it is clear that Judaism is not a one-size-fits-all religion. I want to use my time on International Executive Board as a chance to expand the opportunities available to our USYers, encouraging all to find meaning through new media. I will use my experience and passion to have a positive impact on as many USYers as I can.
What is your favorite activity other than USY? My favorite activity outside of USY is serving as editor-in-chief for my school’s daily news blog, Paw Print Now. It is an extremely fun and rewarding experience as I get to work with a team of dedicated writers in order to convey interesting and meaningful stories to members of our larger school community.
What is your favorite song at the moment? Definitely Hamalach Hagoel.
What is one recommendation you have for any aspiring board member? Know your purpose. Always have a message behind you that justifies your goals and dictates your actions.
Editor’s Note: Today on Achshav, we get to learn about how everyone’s favorite sa/TOE is a FOOT ahead of everyone in their quest to rid the world of carbon footprints. But before we save the world, International Social Action/Tikun Olam Vice President Michael Pincus is here to tell you what he does when he’s not hugging a tree or repairing the world through Tikun Olam.
Name, region, chapter, position, and any other information you would like to share: Michael Pincus, HaNegev, Beach USY, International Social Action/Tikun Olam Vice-President, avid sleeper, drama queen, duckling (#iykyk), and friend. I also think that birds aren’t real. Some people disagree with that last part, but did you see a single bird during the government shut down?
Favorite food: My favorite food changes like every day but right now I eat a lot of quinoa and cauliflower. Trader Joe’s snacks are really good and I love their Kosher gummies. And Wawa. Wawa is my life. Wawa is the source of all things good. It’s seriously heaven on Earth.
Favorite convention: Oy, I have a few: my freshman and junior year Regional General Board Weekend, Branch 3 Encampment 2019, Fall Board Weekend 2019, and ICSoCal 2019! I also loved the D.C. March For Our Lives Shabbaton in March 2018. I loved them all for various reasons but the highlights between them include all the slowach sessions, IC Davening in the Dark, closing circle, making new friends, board bonding, etc. I could go on. OH, and when Sam Bloch won me the infamous Sammy the Sloth at Six Flags… that moment was historic.
What was your inspiration to run for your board position on the international executive board? My predecessors Emily Rosenberg and Zachary Greenwald constantly motivated me to be my best self. I also got amazing advice from my friends on International General Board and from the sheepherder herself, Noa Kligfeld. I think my turning point was sitting in the 2019 Allocations Meeting and seeing, between all the arguing and debates and chaos, how passionate every single person was to make a difference. I want to make SA/TO accessible to everyone so that everyone with that same passion can ignite it and use it to make a difference.
What is your favorite activity other than USY? Outside of USY, I spend a lot of time writing. I’ve improved my writing skills over the past few years through attending a high school of the arts, and I’ve grown a strong foundation in poetry, prose, and journalism. I love freelance journalism, and shameless plug but you can find my stuff at www.teenvogue.com/contributor/michael-pincus and https://sinceparkland.org/. Then again, I use my writing skills most for shopping lists, complaints, and angsty Haikus. And more complaints. I write down a lot of complaints.
What is your favorite song at the moment? My favorite song at the moment (and always) is Rocket Man by Elton John. Check out my Spotify though (shameless plug again) because it’s pretty lit and I make monthly playlists: https://spoti.fi/2TNpEdr … I’ll say my fav albums now because why not: Channel Orange by Frank Ocean, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John, 1 by The Beatles, and Boy in Jeans by Ryan Beatty.
What is one recommendation you have for any aspiring board member? Go for it! If you have the passion, reach for it. Always focus on what YOU can bring to the table. Don’t let competition discourage you—if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. Keep pushing to make your ideas happen. Also, in general, make sure to always self-care. Don’t forget to shower, brush your teeth, and clip your toenails. Use a face mask every now and then. Go crazy! Treat yo self! And remember why you’re here… friends come first, before any leadership position.