NJP (Nice Jewish Person) Reva Berman

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

TW: You're our first featured NJG/NJB who lives in Ann Arbor! How did you decide to make your adult life there?

RB: It kind of just happened. I went to the University of Michigan for undergrad and for grad school and loved the city. I applied for jobs all around the country, but it just so happened that I got offered my ideal job at a company in Ann Arbor and have been here ever since. Ann Arbor is an amazing city with so much culture, amazing restaurants, and beautiful parks. The city is constantly evolving and I continuously find new and fun things to do here!

TW: You spend your days as a Product Content Developer at Johnson & Johnson. Does their baby shampoo really not burn when it gets in your eyes? And what does a Product Content Developer do? 

RB: Haha it’s been some time since I’ve personally used their baby shampoo, but I believe it. My background is in public health, so as a Product Content Developer, I write the content of our digital health products. A lot of that work has been on our online health coaching programs. We have programs on topics like weight management, diabetes, insomnia, chronic pain, heart health, nutrition, etc. While our programs don’t give medical advice, they help you build healthy habits and make small changes in your life to help you feel your best.

TW: Rumor has it you're a well-regarded blogger -- how did you get into that? What has been most interesting / rewarding / challenging about it?

RB: I first started blogging a few years ago when I was in the midst of job searching. I had some free time and thought that blogging would be a great way to showcase my writing and health communication skills and give me something to talk about in interviews. My blog is about my experiences living with Type 1 diabetes (typeONEderful.com), but I try to make my posts somewhat relatable to anyone. Some posts are serious, some are funny, but I try to be honest about my experiences, the good and the bad. It’s always a great feeling when someone tells me they follow my blog or when I get comments from strangers who my words have helped. I’ve had some unique experiences come from my blogging, such as being sent free diabetes products to test and being asked by an author to consult on a romance novel where the main character has type 1 diabetes. Sometimes it’s hard to find the motivation to post after writing all day at work, but I definitely enjoy it.

TW: It's game night with friends. What's your go-to game?

RB: Lately it’s been a game called Telestrations. It’s essentially a combination of the game Telephone and Pictionary. The best is playing in a big group and ideally with some people who aren’t great artists. It makes it more fun when you really have to guess what the other person attempted to draw. I always end up laughing so hard during this game, seeing what the original word was and where it ended up after it has gone around the circle.

TW: What are your 3 favorite leisure activities and why?

RB: I love being active, so in the summer I enjoy bike riding, kayaking, or playing tennis. When I’m looking for something a little more relaxing, floating down the Huron River with friends is always fun. I definitely enjoy watching TV and am in a book club with a group of friends. And does eating count as a leisure activity? I love food, especially brunch. It’s kind of a hobby to find amazing brunch places to try. I was even in a “breakfast club” with friends where once a month we’d try a different restaurant before work. 

TW: Where would you most like to travel to that you haven't visited?

RB: I’ve been fortunate that I’ve visited a lot of amazing places around the world. Top of my list right now is to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu or to visit Iceland; the natural scenic beauty of the landscape just looks breathtaking!

TW: How do you like to give back to the community / others?

RB: Over the years I’ve found ways to get involved in organizations that I feel passionate about. I’m currently on the Young Leaders Committee of the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) and help plan fundraising and outreach events as well as volunteer at other JDRF events. I’ve been volunteering with the organization Project SNAP for a few years now, which helps empower, educate, and unite communities through creating artwork focused on a specific topic for mosaic mural installations around the country.

TW: What's your favorite Jewish holiday and why? 

RB: Definitely Passover. I appreciate how each year we read from the same Hagaddah, the same story, yet every year I take something new away from the Seder. I also love being together with my extended family. My family always hosts Passover, and over the years, have found creative ways to make the Seder fun and unique. This past year, most of my cousins and my sister were spread out around the country so we created a Google Hangout and set up an IPad in the corner of the room so my cousins and sister could all still participate and everyone could see each other. Technology is pretty amazing!

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

RB: Thou shall look up from your cell phone occasionally. But seriously, I feel like we are missing out on so many chances to genuinely connect with others and experience the world around us because we’re too busy looking down instead of out.

TW: What is the Jewish community missing?

RB: More crossover between Jewish communities. It would be great to see more events or more of an effort to help bring together Jews from Detroit to Ann Arbor to Lansing to small pockets in other local cities. While events are open to anyone, considerations like transportation or rotating locations could really help open up the Jewish community to feel more inclusive no matter where you live.

TW: How about a fun fact?

RB: I’ve gone bungee jumping in New Zealand. It was amazing!!!

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

RB: I find myself challenged to think about topics in a new way while connecting with friends old and new!