The Springboard team is so excited to share that we have added a new member to our team! Daniel Warshawsky is our newest Teen Engagement Specialist and will be out and about in the community, along with Tamara and Brittany. We interviewed Daniel to learn more about his personal Jewish journey, interests and what he loves about life in Chicago.
Why are you excited to be a Teen Engagement Specialist at Springboard?
I grew up in the Chicago Jewish community. I spent almost all of my weekends at USY and Kadima events , winter breaks at nine straight USY International Conventions, two summers at Beber Camp and 12 summers at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin. I’m so excited to return to all of these programs, as well as to learn about and participate in so many new ones. There's nothing that I love more than getting to know people in a Jewish environment, and I want to bring that love of Jewish communal life to teens all over Chicago.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
New Zealand. I love the wilderness and hiking, and I grew up watching my favorite movie characters walking through the mountains there. I've always wanted to take a hiking trip out there on my own and to walk and sleep under the stars for days at a time.
languages do you speak?
I’m fluent in both English and Hebrew. I spent a year
after high school studying and volunteering in Israel, as well as serving in
the Israeli Army after college. Learning Hebrew allowed me to connect to my
Israeli friends and to Judaism on a much deeper level, so I’m really happy I spent
so much time learning it as a kid. Other than that, I took Spanish for a few
years in high school and I traveled to Prague, Germany and Poland on a high
school summer trip with USY and picked up a few words here and there.
Can you share a favorite memory from your time as a teen in Chicago?
Playing guitar and piano at the USY open mic nights every year. It was the first time I was able to perform music in front of other people that I felt comfortable with. Because of those nights, I'm able to stand up in front of bigger crowds today to lead singing and play music.
If you could have a superpower what would it be?
Talking to animals. I grew up with dogs and it would have been much easier to interact with them if I knew what they were thinking. It would also be really cool to see animals on hikes and know what they're thinking.
What is one thing you're passionate about that you've gotten to do within the context of "being Jewish"?
One of the things that I'm most passionate about is music. Through my time at camp and in Jewish youth groups, I've been able to play and learn so much more Jewish music than I ever would have thought even existed. I've also gotten to play popular American songs with my friends and campers in a Jewish setting. I've even been able to make "music friends" by playing music at Jewish events all over the country.