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    Earliest childhood memory? 
    “When I was five years old, my mother took me to Israel for the first time. I stayed at my cousins’ house one night and got hopelessly homesick. My cousins, bless their hearts, didn’t help by telling me that their babysitter was a child-eating witch.”

    When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?
    “I wanted to pitch for the New York Mets. If they let some of the talentless pitchers I’d seen get on the mound, then why not me?”

    What would be your last meal in Louisville? 
    “The vegan Reuben at North End Cafe. The idea of a Reuben always looked good to me, but I keep Kosher and do not mix meat and milk. I saw the vegan Reuben on the menu my first time there and just had to try it.”

    Who’s somebody doing big things in Louisville and is flying under the radar?
    “I’ve spoken at several events for Interfaith Paths for Peace under the direction of Terry Taylor, and I am constantly impressed with his ability to bring together people of different faiths and backgrounds in constructive conversations.”

    Best bar in Louisville? 
    “Garage Bar. I kissed my fiancée for the first time at the lit-up ping pong tables, and we got honked at.”

    Your favorite possession?
    “I was so lucky to have all of my grandparents until I was 14. The final picture that we all took together was at my eighth-grade graduation. I love it because they all left such strong memories, even though some of them have been gone for a while already.”

    All-time favorite Louisville restaurant?
    “By amount of money I’ve spent, it’s got to be Oishii Sushi on Taylorsville Road. I can walk there from my house.”

    All-time favorite Louisville athlete?
    “Pee Wee Reese. I read about him as a child because of his time on the Brooklyn Dodgers and his friendship with Jackie Robinson. Baseball fans in New York look at him as a hero, so I thought it was cool to move in down the block from a street named after him.” 

    Favorite local sports team?
    “This is a risky question for me, as I am the rabbi of a congregation with serious U of L fans but have some good friends who root for UK. I pick the Bellarmine Knights.”

    The most you ever lost on a horse race?
    “Zero. Could you please teach me the intricacies of betting on horses?”

    If Louisville had to be known for something other than the Derby, what should it be?
    “Beautiful houses.”

    Derby or Oaks?
    “Oaks. As a Sabbath-observant Jew, I am unable to be at a race on a Saturday.”

    Can’t-miss TV show?
    “Mad Men. Sharp suits, martinis and great writing.”

    What film has had the greatest influence on your life?
    “Mel Brooks’ History of the World, Part I showed me that sometimes you need to laugh at serious moments.” 

    Biggest guilty pleasure in Louisville?
    “Two or three bourbons in — Noah’s Mill, straight — I walk to Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen.”

    If forced to get a tattoo today, what would you get?
    “I don’t like the question. I had relatives who were forced to get numbers tattooed on their arms in Nazi concentration camps.”

    Last live performance you saw in Louisville? 
    “The Louisville Orchestra’s performance at Adath Jeshurun Congregation in the Highlands. I’ve been to many orchestra performances but had never sat a foot away from the musicians before.”

    If Actors Theatre staged a production about your life, what would the performance be called?
    “A Quiet Man. I switched schools in third grade, and it was very hard for me to make new friends. I started to think of myself as a quiet person at that point, and it has stayed with me, even if it’s not always true.” 

    Where do you go to be alone?
    “I get on my bike and start riding without thinking about the end destination or how long I will be out.”

    What’s something nobody knows about you?
    “I take singing lessons. The problem is, I’m not particularly musical.”

    Biggest regret?
    “Anytime I have had the chance to travel but didn’t take it. I once drove from New York to L.A. with a friend who was moving. We should have taken the time to see more of the country, but instead we rushed to make the trip in three and a half days. I don’t know the next time I will be able to take that trip.”

    Image courtesy of Jewish Louisville's website

    This article appears in the December issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe to Louisville Magazine, click here.

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