You Should Know… Jeremy Frisch

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Jeremy Frisch. Photo Courtesy.

Over the course of Jeremy Frisch’s relatively short career since he graduated from American University in 2018, he explored a wide range of paths and options before moving into the Jewish professional space in 2022 with Adas Israel Congregation. He now serves as assistant director of Next Gen at the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.

The grandson of Cuban Jews, Frisch grew up in the suburbs of Chicago as part of the Conservative movement and was impacted in his Jewish upbringing by his grandparents, who stocked some of the interest that Frisch had in politics, Israel and other related issues. After spending several years exploring his interests, those interests played a big part in getting him to where he is today.

Frisch came to the DMV area over nine years ago when he went to AU and studied international relations, in part because of his connection to Israel and his grandparents’ influence.

“They’ve had a very large influence in my Jewish upbringing, as well as my connection to Israel. They are very politically oriented and care a lot about world history, current events and of course, Israel, which strongly contributed to my passion,” Frisch said.

After graduating, Frisch found some involvement with the Jewish community professionally while working for a pro-Israel organization in Iowa. Frisch then got some high-level political experience working on the campaign trail with Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden.

Eventually, Frisch moved back to Washington, D.C., and found a group called Nice Jewish Boys, which allowed him to form a closer connection to the gay Jewish community in D.C. That in turn gave him a push to get more involved in the Jewish community at large.

“[To] be able to find that kind of community here in DC – an intersection of LGBTQ+ and Jewish life – has been great,” Frisch said.

Frisch said he ended up stumbling into the job with the Federation and felt that it might be something he could do well in. He added that a lot of the skills he learned in the political sphere would be helpful in this role, where they work closely with fundraising, leadership and philanthropy with 20- to 40-year-olds.

“We see ourselves as really investing in the next generation of Jews in this community, and help build our future leaders and philanthropists, and eventually take on leadership positions when our parents and grandparents pass the reins to us,” Frisch said.

“Since Oct. 7, we’ve really seen Next Gen step up in ways we have not seen before, from leading in the fight against antisemitism to planning rallies and vigils. More importantly, Next Gen has continued to play a larger and larger role in helping raise the vital resources that this community needs to survive and thrive in the long term.”

And Frisch says the impact the work he and the Federation are doing in the community is something that took him a bit of time to see in full, but it is spreading positivity and connections throughout the Jewish community.

Frisch added that it’s important to highlight just how robust the LGBTQ+ Jewish community is in D.C.

“People have stayed here because they’ve been able to find such a rich and strong LGBTQ+ Jewish community. I think that’s something to really celebrate, and I’m proud that this job has allowed me the opportunity to help continue to build the bridge between the LGBTQ+ Jewish community and Federation,” Frisch said.

Frisch mentioned a time where he felt the impact he could have in his job when he was at a Pride parade that the Federation helped sponsor and had a number of people come up to him and tell him about how important it was for people to see they were there.

“At the Federation, one of our top priorities is to convene community members and leaders and demonstrate how to bring Jewish Greater Washington together in our shared pursuit of vibrant Jewish life for everyone,” Frisch said.

Frisch also emphasized the importance of the lay leadership at the Federation as being a huge reason why this job works so well for him. He spoke highly of their generosity and the helpfulness it’s provided in him being able to do his job and provide for the local Jewish community every day.

“One of the things that I love about our lay leaders and donors is how much they step up for this community day in and day out. Not just over the last few months, but every day. They sacrifice to keep this community going. Specifically, our Next Gen lay leaders are genuine, amazing human beings, and it is because of them that I not only have fun doing my job, but that I’m able to do it with a smile on my face,” Frisch said.

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