NJP (Nice Jewish Person) Jessica Katz

Each month, The Well highlights an amazing (and eligible!) individual.
This month, we have a conversation with NJP Jessica Katz!

TW: What brought you back to Detroit?

JK: I wanted to make my parents happy! No, just kidding (kind of). I didn't want to go broke trying to make it in NYC. I liked living in New York, but didn't love my job, and decided to check out what Detroit had to offer at the time. Two years later, I'm still kickin' it here!

TW: I hear you like camping - how'd you get into that?

JK: I've always liked being outside! As I teen I went on multiple backpacking adventure trips, both out west and in Europe. I spent 3 days alone on an island (by choice, Outward Bound style). I sort of fell in love with the challenge that the outdoors bring and just the idea of being in fresh air for days on end. At one point I thought I might lead trips and did a NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) trip for Outdoor Educators. There is just something so simple about getting outside and into the mountains or at least the woods given that we live in Michigan! 

TW: What's it like working for Moosejaw?

JK: Madness. Literally. Every day is different and fun. I'm in HR, but really focusing on recruiting and training. My customers are our employees and Moosejaw has awesome employees. When I have an idea about a new project, or a wacky thing I think we should do, the opportunity to make it happen is there.  We also have regular happy hours, beer fridge Fridays, and I get a pretty decent discount on gear and stuff. We get to have fun while working, so even when things get super busy or crazy, there is still an element of fun and push to make something a little bit mad. One word: Fun. 

TW: You're on the board of Kadima - what do they do?

JK: Kadima is an organization that provides services for people with mental health needs. Kadima is focused on education and outreach to the greater community to ensure that they are meeting the needs of all people with mental health issues.  When I joined the board I didn't know too much about the the unique work they were doing in our community. It has been really inspiring to learn and also recognize what a wonderful organization they are. 

TW: If you could add an 11th commandment what would it be?

JK: Thou shall eat dairy more often! I feel like they ate a lot of meat back in the day, and ice cream should really be a more regular thing in everyone's life. That whole lactose intolerant thing really gets some people though, but if it was a commandment, maybe it would go away? 

TW: How about a fun fact?

JK: When hippos are upset, their sweat turns red. I have no clue if this is true. You probably wanted a fun fact about me! Little or widely known fact, I've never had a soda/pop/coke/etc. I was once given a shot of cream soda that I thought was tequila (I do enjoy tequila), but aside from that I've really never sat down and even sipped a pop. Same goes for coffee. 

TW: Finish the sentence: When I go to The Well...

... I am challenged to think about what our tradition means to me and also am given the opportunity to celebrate and explore holidays and ritual in a very real and connected way. I also get to hang with some cool people!

Daniel Horwitz2015