Chatting with our member, Emily Meyer

How did you learn about the WCN?  The conference in DC was at my synagogue. I worked with  Lisa Levine and she said I should join.

What is your favorite aspect of the WCN?  There are SO many things…I love the camaraderie and interactions, the fact that there are no titles, you are judged on what you have to bring to the organization. These qualities make us so different than other organizations out there. I am overwhelmed with the love I feel after conference. You leave feeling like the most amazing person in the world.

Where do you live? Rockville, MD Where do you serve? I am the cantorial soloist at Temple Shalom . Introduce your family. I am married to Gabe, and I have twins Ella& Owen who are 11 years old.

Who has been the biggest jewish influence in your life? Ina Strauss, my boss at Hadassah, was the  first person I talked about being Jewish. I told her, “I think i am supposed to be Jewish”, and she she was warm and mother-y, and really set me on a path that brought me where i am today. When I moved to NY my job fell thru, so I went to a temp agency. They  gave me two options:work for a travel agency or for Hadassah Foundations and Grants. I have great office skills so Hadassah seemed like the better fit.Another strong influencer is Rabbi Amy Sapowith who guided me through conversion and started me on cantorial work. My mitzvah project for my conversion was to be her cantorial soloist! She gave me wonderful advice, such as being a cantor is not a performance. You are a conduit for prayers of the congregation.

How would you describe yourself? I am a renaissance woman. I am always learning and seeking.  It is a little embarrassing, but people describe me as talented.  However, what i do is something anyone can LEARN. You just have to take the time. I was like this even as a kid. I lived in the library. When my Dad died (at age 62) that colored what I do. If I don’t do it now, will it ever happen. And I must impart knowledge I have while I am here. I usually learn something based on a need. I learned how to make furniture because I needed a particular piece for my house.  Music, Knitting, quilting have all come into my life because I needed to do something with that skill. I have very creative people in my family. I collect people, love to listen to people talk and tell me their stories. My grandfather talked about how you make things. He was a carpenter and watchmaker. I can hear his voice when I making something. I am also inspired by the notion of history.  There is something about having a piece of work you have made with your hands. “I MADE this out of disparate pieces.”

So yes, Emily is as cool, creative, and fascinating as we all believe she is. I loved getting to know her better and admire how she really listens to the universe. Keep on creating, Emily. We are all the better for it.

Submitted by Marci Vitkus Communications VP for WCN