WELLcome Home, Barrie Seigle!
We're excited to continue our monthly feature highlighting someone awesome who has recently moved back to Metro Detroit after adventures away!
This month, we'd like to (re)introduce you to Barrie Seigle!
TW: You've recently returned to Metro Detroit after spending some time away. What brought you back?
BS: There were a lot of things that brought me back! I was in a place that was beautiful, but did not have the community that I needed in order to be my best and most authentic self. I had also given up social work in my move, so I was excited to return and pick up where I had left off.
TW: Where did life take you before you returned home?
BS: I lived in Ann Arbor for 5 years, so depending on who you ask it could be Metro Detroit—or not! I moved to Logan, Utah which is a small college town on the border of Utah and Idaho. I lived there for nearly a year before making my way back home.
TW: You're currently working as a social worker for BBYO and JFS. What's the best part of your job?
BS: This job is a beautiful melting pot of my various passions. I love being able to work with Jewish teens in our community (I was one of those, once!) in the capacity of providing education and support on mental health and wellness. Getting to talk to these passionate and super smart teens inspires me on a daily basis.
TW: What inspired you to get into social work in the first place?
BS: I knew from a pretty young age that I wanted to get into the mental health profession, but I was thinking more along the lines of psychologist or psychiatrist. Psychiatry was quickly ruled out because that requires medical school, which requires math. When I started looking into grad programs, I loved that social work not only focused on mental health, but on social justice and creating societal change. I was excited to learn about community work and management in addition to counseling, so it felt like a perfect fit.
TW: You have some really great tattoos! Can you tell us about your favorite one(s)?
BS: My entire left arm is my favorite! I currently have four on that arm and am working my way, slowly but surely, up to a full sleeve. I have a flower motif with a “kvell” banner to honor my mom and gradma, a Star Wars Rebel Alliance symbol with the word “Resist” underneath because of our current administration and because I’m a massive nerd, a coffee mug with coffee beans because coffee is life, and a beautiful wrist cuff because why not?
TW: What's your ideal Saturday?
BS: It depends on my work week! I'm an omnivert, so if I did a lot of engagement that week, an ideal Saturday would be relaxing on my couch with coffee and an amazing show to binge. If not, I love exploring new food places in Detroit. But if we're going super idyllic - I would have to say hanging out with my boyfriend at the Cincinnati Zoo so we can see the best creature on this planet, Fiona the Hippo.
TW: How do you like to give back to the community/others?
BS: Working in a social work capacity in our community is truly giving back on an ongoing basis. I hope that through the work that I do, being able to provide impactful and educational programs for the community will make us stronger. Otherwise I love when I get any opportunity to staff a trip or substitute teach at Shir Shalom.
TW: What's your favorite place that you've traveled to and what fictional place would you most like to go to and why?
BS: The only place outside of North America that I’ve traveled is Israel. But I love going there, and feel so lucky that I’ve been there as many times as I have, so it’s easily my favorite place. As far as fictional place—probably Hogwarts, but post-war with Voldemort, because again, massive nerd.
TW: If you could bring one thing from Utah to Detroit, what would it be?
BS: I’d bring the mountains! It was so incredible to be able to look out in any direction and be surrounded by mountains—that’s something I definitely miss.
TW: Best pics/stories about your cats?
BS: My favorite story about my cats is when my black cat, Ezrah, was around 1 year old, I got him a sibling named Quinn. When she was brought home, she was a tiny little white kitten with two different colored eyes. I was worried how Ezrah and her would get along, because he’s large and needy. When they met, he immediately fell in love with her, and took on the role of cat-mom. He would clean her and snuggle her, and it was easily the cutest and sweetest time in their lives.
TW: Who are 3 people you would love to invite to your Shabbat dinner table, contemporary or historical?
BS: These types of questions overwhelm me, but after serious determination and intense thought, I would love to invite Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, and Maya Rudolph. Can you IMAGINE?
TW: We heard you're a fan of True Crime podcasts - which are your favorites and why?
BS: My Favorite Murder is my top favorite, because of the hosts. They are two amazing women who are hilarious and strong. Not only do they each present two different crime stories each week, but they have a great banter that normalizes having massive anxiety, seeking therapy, body image, and plenty of other important issues. My two runner-ups are And That’s Why We Drink as well as Serial.
TW: What do you look for in your Jewish community?
BS: I love having a large community that is close-knit as well as inclusive. I love that the Detroit Jewish Community is focused to providing all types of services, including focusing on teen mental health and LGBTQ inclusion work.
TW: Finish the sentence: When I go to The Well…
BS: I go to create ties and relationships to strengthen my own Jewish community.