NOVEMBER 15, 2018 – NAME: AARON ROTHBARD, 23
CURRENTLY LIVING IN: Everett
ALMA MATERS: Marblehead High School ’13, Boston College ’17
JOB: Account manager at Randstad Technologies
FAVORITE FOOD: Sunday night Chinese food, definitely.
FAVORITE MUSIC: I’m a hard rock kind of fan – Breaking Benjamin is my favorite band.
FAVORITE BOOKS: I don’t really read books, but I really enjoy reading the Wall Street Journal every day.
FAVORITE MOVIES: I really like the movie “Get Out.” I like the movies “Spotlight,” “Pulp Fiction.”
FAVORITE TV SHOWS: “Dexter,” “American Horror Story,” “The Office.”
FAVORITE TRAVEL DESTINATION: I really like traveling with my family to Longboat Key in Sarasota, Fla. I really want to go to China.
FAVORITE JEWISH PERSON: David Schwimmer
WHAT WAS YOUR JEWISH BACKGROUND GROWING UP?
Both of my parents are Jewish – I was raised Jewish. I went to Cohen Hillel Academy K-8 – I really learned about my Jewish identity through school, through my parents, through my grandfather, who’s very religious – we belong to Temple Sinai. I would frequently join my family for the High Holidays, and all those sorts of events at the temple. We belong to the JCC – we were young at the time, but we participated in a lot of Jewish groups, like Jew Crew, stuff like that where we did a lot of volunteering events … so that was definitely how I was raised, with my Jewish identity at the forefront of my existence. It sort of became very important to me as time went on … now I like to be my own Jewish adviser, and kind of keep that flame sparked in me.
HOW WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE AT BOSTON COLLEGE?
What attracted me was the religious aspect. I mean, I think that especially the Jesuit community – a lot of the morals are the same, all the kids I met come from a very similar background to me. I mean, obviously, most of them are Catholic, but their families still follow a very strict moral compass, for the most part. I actually found that the types of people I was around were more similar to myself. There really wasn’t [much of a Jewish life there]. We had a small Hillel, and I was on the executive board for it – we did do Shabbat every week, but [there was a] very small group of kids there – I’d say probably 30 on a week-to-week basis showed up, and we had identifying as Jewish about 200 students. It actually probably made me a bit more Jewish because there was a lack of it, and after my freshman year, I was feeling that. I didn’t join the Hillel right away, so I actually missed it quite a bit. And I never did Shabbat with my family, but I went to Shabbat every week when I was at school. I think you realize its importance – I really missed being around people who held that same feeling. When you meet another Jew, there’s an immediate warmth to meeting them, and you can’t really explain it. It’s something I definitely sought out after my freshman year.
DO YOU SEE ANY DIFFERENCES IN HOW MILLENNIALS HAVE APPROACHED THEIR JUDAISM?
I think there definitely is. I think the older generation, my parents – they were really living in a perpetual mourning, for all that had been lost in the Holocaust, the pogroms – all the deadly manifestations of anti-Semitism, and they really kind of live in this gratitude for the gift of life, and I think my generation is sort of missing that. I don’t think we see being Jewish as something you get killed for. What’s re-stoked the fire in me is seeing that this anti-Semitism is not dead in any kind of way, and hopefully this kicks my generation into high gear on the importance of caring for the Jewish people.
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR CAREER?
I work as an account manager at a company called Randstad Technologies. So, essentially Randstad is a global provider of HR services – the second largest staffing organization in the world. I basically serve to understand customer demands, I plan how to meet the demands, and eventually generate sales for the company as a result of meeting the demands they have. I actually got the strong desire to be in sales and management from the local Jewish community. I was involved in a variety of Jewish organizations and I ran some fundraising events … and it put me in connection with a lot of successful Jewish people, because that’s really who I was asking for money from at the time. I met these people, and learned how they were able to advance their careers – how they networked, how they grinded, and I sort of tried to mirror that.
– Michael Wittner